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Unpleasant surprise! Inflation rising again

Retail inflation figures in March came as a big hit to the pockets of a common man  as it  inched up to 8.31 per cent from 8.03 per cent in February, mainly on account of a rise in fruit and vegetable prices.

‘Provisional annual inflation rate based on all India general Consumer Price Index (Combined) for March 2014 on point to point basis (over March 2013) is 8.31 per cent as compared to 8.03 per cent for February 2014,’ the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The corresponding provisional inflation rates for rural and urban areas for March were 8.89 per cent and 7.51 per cent, respectively. Inflation rates (final) for rural and urban areas for February were 8.43 per cent and 7.55 per cent, respectively.

Overall inflation in the food basket, including beverages, increased to 9.1 per cent in March from 8.57 per cent in the previous month, according to Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the CSO on Tuesday. Vegetable prices increased 16.8 per cent in March as against a 14.04 per cent rise in February. The prices of fruits rose 17.19 per cent compared with a 15.79 per cent increase in February.
Retail or consumer inflation in protein-rich items such as eggs, fish and meat eased to 9.54 per cent in March from 9.69 per cent in February. The rate of price rise for cereals and related products slowed to 9.61 per cent in March from 9.93 per cent. However, the price of milk and its products increased 11.02 per cent in March compared with 10.37 per cent in the previous month.

Prices of condiments and spices rose 8.87 per cent from 8.48 per cent in February. Retail inflation has been easing for three months since December 2013. The declining numbers gave RBI governor Raghuram Rajan enough room to go easy in monetary policy review with no increase in key rates in its 1 April,  2014 meet, unlike his earlier three key policy meetings where he raised  rates.
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