AMN / NEW DELHI
The retail inflation for January has eased down to 5.07 per cent from 5.21 per cent in December 2017, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office on Monday. On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the CPI inflation last month was 3.17 per cent in January 2017.
The data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the rate of price rise for consumer foods eased to 4.7 per cent in January, from 4.96 per cent in December. Inflation in the vegetable basket slowed to 26.97 per cent as against 29.13 in December.
Prices of fruits too rose at a lower pace of 6.24 per cent last month, as against 6.63 per cent recorded in the preceding month. For the fuel and light segment, inflation was 7.73 per cent last month compared to 7.90 per cent in December. Price data are collected from selected towns by the Field Operations Division of NSSO and from selected villages by the Department of Posts.
According to the data, the industry group ‘manufacture of other transport equipment’ has shown the highest growth of 38.3 per cent followed by 33.6 per cent in ‘manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemicals and botanical products’ and 29.8 per cent in ‘manufacture of computers, elecronic and optical products’.
Last week, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its key interest rate unchanged at 6 per cent for the third time in succession at its final bi-monthly monetary policy review of the fiscal, citing upside risks for inflation from rising global crude oil prices and other domestic factors.
The RBI said its decision to keep its repo rate, or short-term lending rate for commercial banks, unchanged is consistent with the neutral stance of the central bank aimed at achieving its median inflation target of 4 per cent.
“We expect headline inflation to be at 5.1 per cent in the fourth quarter (January-March), including the impact of HRA (house rent allowance) to central employees, up from the 4.6 per cent in Q3,” RBI Governor Urjit Patel told reporters in Mumbai after the release of the monetary policy review.
However, the fact that the central bank did not raise the repo rate in the face of hardening inflation as recommended by one of the six monetary policy committee (MPC) members is being considered as an attempt to aid in economic recovery.
Industry chamber Assocham termed the IIP data “a positive sign towards growth cycle of industrial activity in India”.
“However, risks to the Indian economy continues to prevail in the forms of continued uncertainties in the global environment due to geo-political situations, including rising global protectionism could further delay a meaningful recovery of external demand,” said Assocham President Sandeep Jajodia.