Retail inflation rises for the first time in four months

Retail Inflation Inches Up to 4.58 Percent in April CPI on Decline Since A Year

The government data, on Monday, also highlighted that annual wholesale price inflation (WPI) of last month that accelerated, was facilitated by higher fuel and food product prices.

A vendor loads tomatoes in a bag for a customer at a wholesale vegetable market in Mumbai, March 14, 2018.

Wholesale price inflation rose to a 4-month high of 3.18 percent in April from 2.47 percent in March. WPI inflation was at 2.47% in the previous month and 3.85% during the corresponding month of the previous year. "Given that the latest IIP (index of industrial production) data showed some easing, we believe that the monetary policy committee is likely to maintain status quo in June's meeting and is likely to wait out further prints to assess such statistical effects while making adjustments", Richa Gupta, senior director and senior economist, Deloitte India, said.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation revealed that increase in fruit and vegetable prices coupled with costly eggs pushed Consumer Price Index (CPI) to 4.58 percent in April form 4.28 per cent in March.

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The rise in inflation rates have given rise to expectations of a prolonged pause on policy rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in this financial year. Bonds are poised to decline for the ninth month out of 10 amid concerns this might push the consumer-price inflation targeting central bank to raise interest rates sooner than later. In the "fuel and power" basket in WPI, petrol inflation spiked to 9.45 per cent in April from 2.55 per cent in March; while diesel jumped to 13.01 per cent from 6.12 per cent in the previous month. However, the price of manufacture of cordage, rope, twine and netting, woollen yarn and made-up textile articles (1 per cent each) declined. Inflation in the energy category rose at a four-month high - by 7.85 per cent, from 4.70 per cent in the previous month. Housing inflation increased to 8.50 per cent in April from 8.31 per cent in March and inflation rate for "clothing and footwear" increased to 5.11 per cent in April from 4.91 per cent. Petrol prices increased by 9.45% over April previous year, while liquefied petroleum gas became cheaper by 11.73%.

Other notable sub-categories such as cereals became dearer by 2.56 per cent and meat and fish recorded a rise of 3.59 per cent.

That was above the 2.9 percent increase economists had forecast. Crude oil prices holding at current levels will fan inflation in Asia's third-largest economy.

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