Inflation eases to 5-year low of 3.17% in January

Consumer Price Index (CPI), or retail inflation, for the month of January stood at 3.17% said Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) on Monday.

The core-CPI inflation, excluding food & beverages and fuel & light, inched higher to 5.1% in January from 4.9% in December.

Investec economist Victoria Clarke said the shortage of vegetables after extreme weather ravaged crops across Europe might have pushed up prices at the supermarket checkout, which until recently had fallen for the last three years.

Because of the warm weather, vegetable prices remained largely stable last month. Pressure continued to mount on the sugar and confectionary sector where prices rose 18.7%.

Wednesday, February 15: Australia: New motor vehicle sales - January; Australia: Consumer confidence index - February; UK: Unemployment rate - December; US: Inflation rate - January; US: Retail sales - January; US: Industrial and manufacturing production - January.

Producer Price Index, a measure of inflation at wholesale level, is forecast to fall 0.2 percent month on month in January, as prices of raw materials dipped.

Experts said the non-food components have shown higher price increases.

The Consumer Price Index-based inflation was at 5.69 percent in January a year ago.

A Reuters poll of 26 economists, had predicted the inflation rate for January to be at 3.22 per cent.

Even though the retail inflation is well below Reserve Bank of India's target of 5 per cent, it is unlikely that the central bank will go for a rate cut in the coming months. "Higher global commodity prices will get ingrained in these components while food items will be unaffected". "The focus of Union budget on growth revival without compromising on fiscal prudence should bode well for limiting upside risk for inflation", the monetary policy panel had said.


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