The fall in retail inflation, as per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), was due to a rather sharp drop in the annual food inflation — from 8.35 per cent in July to 5.91 per cent in August.
The retail inflation measured on Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April has been revised upwards to 5.47 per cent from the earlier 5.39 per cent, government data showed on Monday.
Inflation in the vegetable basket more than doubled to 10.77 per cent in May as compared to 4.82 per cent in the previous month.
The RBI said while a good monsoon and introduction of an electronic national agriculture market should moderate any sharp rises in food prices, there were upside risks to the inflation forecasts too.
India’s growth rate at 7.5 per cent between January and March, contrasts with neighbouring China, where growth has slipped to 6.7 per cent in the first quarter – the slowest in seven years.
Onion production is estimated to be increased to 20.33 million tonnes in 2015-16 from 18.92 million tonnes in the previous year, as per government data.
The day-long meeting will be chaired by Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman besides senior officials of the central and state departments.
Dearer food items like pulses, potato and sugar pushed up WPI inflation for April into the positive zone for the first time in 18 months to 0.34 per cent.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast retail inflation to inch up to 5.0 per cent in April from 4.83 per cent in March.
Inflation appeared to be driven largely by higher food prices, rather than an improvement in broader economic activity which many global investors had been hoping for.
After adjustment, consumer price index-based inflation in 2015-16 was 3.8 per cent — a full 1.10 percentage points below the official estimate of 4.9 per cent.
Food inflation stood at 3.73 per cent in March compared with 3.35 per cent in February.
Economists expect the RBI’s policy stance to remain accommodative in June.
The Reserve Bank of India on Tueday cut its policy interest rate by a quarter percentage point, lowering it to a more than five-year low while dangling the prospect of another cut later this year if inflation trends stay benign.
Moody’s said a moderate growth in India, spare capacity in industry and low global commodity prices will help maintain inflation around the current levels.