India's retail inflation at 5-month low, industrial output hits 4-month high

Wednesday 17th April 2024 07:23 EDT

India's retail inflation eased to a five-month low in March on the marginally moderating food inflation, while industrial output growth rebounded to a four-month high in Feb, led by robust infra sectors and consumer durables output.

Data released by the National Statistical Office showed retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose an annual 4.9% in March, lower than the 5.1% in Feb. Rural inflation was higher at 5.5% while urban was at 4.1%. The food price index was marginally lower at 8.5% in March compared with 8.7% in the previous month.

Vegetables prices rose an annual 28.3% in March while pulses and product prices remained stubborn at 17.7% keeping up the pressure.

“We estimate the food & beverages inflation to remain above the 7% mark in April 2024. An intensification of the impending heatwave may worsen the seasonal uptick in prices of perishables, heightening the criticality of a favourable monsoon in 2024 to keep food inflation in check and inflationary expectations well-anchored,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist at ratings agency Icra.

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