Sunday, 12 July, 2020


Retail inflation spikes to 7.35% in December from 5.54% in November

Retail inflation spikes to 7.35% in December from 5.54% in November Retail inflation spikes to 7.35% in December from 5.54% in November
Conrad Doyle | 13 January, 2020, 21:26

As per the data released by National Statistical Office (NSO) on Monday, the spike in inflation in the vegetable segment was 60.5 per cent during the month compared to December 2018.

With prices of onions and garlic among others soaring to record highs, vegetables recorded an inflation rate of 60.50% in December, as against a price increase of 35.99% in November.

Food inflation rose to 14.12 per cent in December as against (-) 2.65 per cent in the same month of 2018.

The retail inflation in December rose to 7.35 percent as opposed to 5.54 percent in November a year ago, going beyond the Reserve Bank of India's set target of keeping inflation between 2 percent to 6 percent.

The central bank, which tracks consumer inflation data primarily while formulating its monetary policy, reduced the repo rate by a total 135 basis points to 5.15 per cent in 2019.

Inflation was pushed up by a rise in food prices and telecom tariffs. The RBI is mandated to keep inflation between 2-6%, with a margin of 2% on either side. Prices of pulses and products rose 15.44%, in rural and urban areas. It appears therefore that CPI (consumer price index) inflation has now breached the upper-end of the central bank's MPC inflation target band (2%-6%) for the first time since July 2016.

In November 2019, retail inflation was recorded at 5.54%, up from 4.62% in October. A rate increase is typically expected to curb inflation when prices are on the rise. Unseasonal weather, which experts say may have been brought on by climate change, have fuelled the price of onions from March 2019.

Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present the budget on February 1, and the RBI's next monetary policy meet is on February 6, where it will take a decision on an interest rate cut.

Icra principal economist Aditi Nayar said the revision in rail fares, uptick in prices of some categories of automobiles and an unfavourable base effect may contribute to a further uptick in the core inflation to around 4 per cent in the ongoing month.

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