Retail inflation jumps to 7.35% in December as food prices soar

Retail inflation

India’s retail inflation rate in December stood at 7.35 percent, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on January 13.

Retail inflation for November was seen at 5.54 percent.

Retail inflation has now breached RBI’s medium term target of 4 percent for the third straight month.

Food prices, which is a gauge to measure changes in kitchen budgets, grew 14.1 percent in December against 10.01 percent in November.

Vegetables inflation for December stood at 60.5 percent against 36 percent in November.

Inflation rate in cereals and products stood at 4.36 percent in December against 3.71 percent a month ago.

December CPI core inflation came in at 3.7 percent.

Pulses and products recorded an inflation of 15.44 percent in December against 13.94 percent in November.

Prices of meat and fish came in at 9.5 percent against 9.38 percent a month ago. Inflation in eggs was seen at 8.7 percent in December against 6.2 percent in November.

In the fuel and light category, inflation was seen at 0.7 percent.

In its December policy review, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) maintained status quo, for the first time this year, on higher inflation expectations even as economic growth is likely to weaken going ahead.

The RBI also revised downwards its GDP growth target for current financial year from 6.1 percent in the October policy to 5 percent.

The government has pegged economic growth rate for 2019-20 at 5 percent, slower than the 2018-19 expansion rate of 6.8 percent.

India’s GDP — the total value of goods and services produced in the country — slumped to over 6-year low of 5 percent in the April -June quarter and 4.5 percent in the July – September quarter of 2019.

The government estimated that gross value added (GVA), which is GDP minus net taxes, will grow at 4.9 percent in 2019-20.

GVA is a more realistic guide to measure changes in the aggregate value of goods and services produced in an economy.

According to the estimates, farm sector is set to grow at 2.8 percent against 2.9 percent last year, at constant or inflation-adjusted prices.

News Source: Moneycontrol

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