India’s retail inflation in May inches up to 4.87%

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) The combined push of food and fuel prices continued to drive up retail inflation in India in May towards the 5 per cent-mark, official data showed on Tuesday.

As per numbers furnished by the Central Statistics Office, the consumer price indexed (CPI) inflation in May stood at 4.87 per cent, registering more than double growth over the 2.18 per cent recorded in the same month last year, and up from the 4.58 per cent recorded in April 2018.

The consumer food price index (CFPI) in May moved up to 3.1 per cent over the 2.8 per cent logged in the previous month.

The annual CPI in rural areas in May ruled higher at 4.88 per cent, while in urban India, it rose by 4.72 per cent.

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As per the data, the retail inflation rate on a year-on-year basis rose due to higher prices of food items like vegetables, milk-based products, eggs, meat and fish, as well as increased fuel rates.

On a sub-category basis, vegetables in May became costly by 8.04 per cent, while prices of milk-based products rose by 3.2 per cent.

Other notable sub-categories such as cereals became dearer by 2.78 per cent and meat and fish recorded a rise of 3.53 per cent.

The category of food and beverages during the month under consideration recorded a rise of 3.37 per cent over the same period last year.

Among non-food categories, the “fuel and light” segment’s inflation rate accelerated to 5.8 per cent in May.

Last week, following a cycle of rate cuts begun in January 2015, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised its key interest rate for the first time by 25 basis points, to 6.25 per cent, responding to concerns on inflation from surging global crude oil prices.

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The RBI also revised upwards the retail inflation range to 4.8-4.9 per cent in the first half of 2018-19, and to 4.7 per cent in the second half, including the impact of house rent allowance for central employees, and with risks on the upside.

–IANS

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