Millennium Post

March retail inflation dips but stays in double digits

The consumer price index (CPI) based inflation was at 10.91 per cent in February. The inflation, however, continued to remain in the double-digit terrain for the fourth consecutive month in March.

The prices in the vegetables basket eased to 12.16 per cent in March. It was 21.29 per cent in February.

Inflation in protein-based items -- egg, meat and fish -- stood at 14.36 per cent during the month. In oils and fats segment, it stood at 11.72 per cent.

Among all the constituents that make the CPI, cereals recorded the highest inflation of 17.55 per cent in March, according to data released today.

Besides, inflation in pulses stood at 11.38 per cent and in sugar it was 11.65 per cent on an annual basis.

The rate of price rise in clothing and footwear segment stood at 10.64 per cent during the month.

In urban areas, retail inflation declined to 10.38 per cent in March from 10.84 per cent in the previous month. The CPI for rural population fell to 10.33 per cent during the month from 11.01 per cent in February. The data for wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation is expected on Monday. The WPI figures for February stood at 6.84 per cent, much higher than RBI's comfort level of 5-6 per cent.

The RBI will take into account the double digit retail inflation and slowdown in factory output while formulating its annual monetary policy, which is scheduled on 3 May.


Showing slump in the economy, the industrial growth in India has slipped to 0.6 per cent in February this year mainly on account of contraction in power generation and mining output and poor performance of manufacturing sector.

Factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had grown by 4.3 per cent in February last year.

For the April-February period of 2012-13 fiscal, the industrial production growth is at 0.9 per cent, down from 3.5 per cent in the same period of 2011-12, according to official data released here on Friday.

Meanwhile, the decline in industrial output for January has remained almost at the same level of provisional estimates of 2.4 per cent released last month.

The manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 per cent of the index, grew by meagre 2.2 per cent in February, as against 4.1 per cent in the same month of 2012.

The growth in the output of the key sector remained low at one per cent in April-February this fiscal, as against 3.7 per cent growth in the same period of 2011-12.
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