India’s April retail inflation rises due to increased food and fuel prices

Vegetable market (IANS)
Higher food and fuel prices increased India's April retail inflation to 2.92 per cent from 2.86 per cent in March, official data showed on Monday. But year-on-year, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in April was lower than the corresponding period of last year when retail inflation stood at 4.58 per cent.

As per data furnished by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the consumer food price index (CFPI) inflated to 1.10 per cent in April from an expansion of 0.30 per cent in March.

Product-wise, prices of vegetables, eggs, meat and fish pushed the retail inflation higher on a YoY basis. In contrast, decline in prices of pulses and sugar capped the overall food inflation.

Accordingly, the prices of vegetables increased 2.87 per cent, milk-based products 0.42 per cent, cereals & its products 1.17 per cent and meat and fish 7.55 per cent.

On the other hand, prices of pulses & its products declined 0.89 per cent and sugar and confectionery 4.05 per cent.

The sub-category of food and beverages recorded a 1.38 per cent rise in last month over April 2018. Among the non-food categories, the fuel and light segment's inflation increased to 2.56 per cent in April.

"The April print of retail inflation at 2.92 per cent though is still moderate this is the fourth consecutive month of rise," said Sunil Kumar Sinha, Director, Public Finance and Principal Economist, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra).

"Ind-Ra believes under the current growth inflation dynamics though some room is available for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to go for one more rate cut of 25 basis points in FY20, it will remain data dependent."

According to Joseph Thomas, Head Research, Emkay Wealth Management, "The CPI number is on expected lines, and we expect higher fuel prices, a weaker rupee and the impact of summer on prices of fruits and vegetables to push the CPI higher in the next one or two months."
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