In a major move, the government did not release the headline retail inflation data which is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), for the month of May and the factory output data measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), for the month of April.
However, the country’s Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) for the month of May rose 9.28 per cent year-on-year, according to a release by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Friday.
However, in comparison to April 2020, the food inflation rose 0.13 per cent to 151.9 in May, the data showed.
Generally, MoSPI releases both the IIP as well as the CPI data every month on the 12th. In the case of CPI, the government releases the provisional retail inflation figures for the preceding month, along with the final figures for the month before that.
“In view of the preventive measures and announcement of nation-wide lockdown by the Government to contain spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the price collection of Consumer Price Index (CPI) through personal visits of price collectors was suspended with effect from 19th March, 2020,” the government release said.
The release further said that in May, the data was collected to the extent feasible through personal visits of field staff of NSO and telephone calls from the designated outlets in selected markets. This data was supplemented by information collected during the personal purchase of field staff for the items being transacted from neighbourhood outlets, keeping in view the travel advisories.
The NSO collected prices from 987 urban markets and 836 villages, for commodities which were available and being transacted during the month of May which also included the lockdown period. However, the release said that transactions were largely focused on essential purchases.
In the case of IIP data for April, the government said that a majority of establishments have reported NIL production. It is the first time that the MoSPI did not release the headline figure as well as the figures for manufacturing, mining and electricity.
“Consequently, it is not appropriate to compare the IIP of April, 2020 with earlier months and users may like to observe the changes in IIP in the following months,” the ministry said in a release.
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