The rate of growth of India’s retail inflation, slowed to 5.91 per cent in the month of March, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
The retail inflation which is is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had grown at 6.58 per cent in the month of February and 2.86 per cent in March last year, the data showed.
After three months, the retail inflation has grown within the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) upper margin of 6 per cent. The government has mandated the central bank to keep inflation within the range of 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on either side.
The Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) or the inflation in the food basket saw a rise of 8.76 per cent in the month of March against 10.81 per cent in February. In March 2019, the CFPI saw a growth of 0.30 per cent, the MoSPI data showed.
The retail inflation growth was mainly due to a rise in vegetable prices that saw an 18.63 per cent on-year rise in March. Apart from vegetables, the pulses and products segment saw a rise of 15.85 per cent, while that of spices rose 9.82 per cent and meat and fish prices gained 9.15 per cent.
Reflecting on the development, Deepthi Mary Mathew, Economist at Geojit Financial Services, said, “The inflation rate slipping to 5.91 per cent, within the target range set by the central bank, gives more space for the RBI to adopt easy monetary policy. Food inflation eased to 8.76 per cent, mainly driven by the fall in vegetable prices. However, amid the lockdown and supply disruptions, there is a need to closely watch how food inflation rate turns out in the coming days.”
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