Retail inflation hits 15-month high on vegetable prices; food inflation in double digits

NEW DELHI: Retail inflation soared to a 15-month high in July as food prices jumped sharply, hit by supply woes, posing a fresh challenge for authorities battling stubborn prices.

Data released by the Natio nal Statistical Office (NSO) on Monday showed retail inflationas measured by the consumer price index (CPI) rose an annual 7.4% in July from the previous month’s 4.9%.

This is the highest since the 7.8% increase in April 2022.The food price index moved into double digits at 11.5% from 4.6% in June.Retail inflation in rural areas higher than urban
Chief economist at ratings agency ICRA Aditi Nayar said, “Barring food and beverages, and paan, tobacco and intoxicants, the inflation in all other groups eased in July 2023 vis-a-vis June 2023, offering some relief. Moreover, the core CPI (CPI excluding food and beverages, fuel and light and petrol and diesel) eased to a 21-month low of 5.1% in July 2023.”
“The data for food prices for early August 2023 is not very promising, and we expect the headline CPI inflation to print above the 6.5% mark in August, before cooling off materially in Sep tember,” said Nayar.

Rural inflation was higher at 7.6% in July while urban was at 7.2%.
Uncertainties linked to the domestic food price outlook prompted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week to raise its forecast for inflation in 2023-24.
Separate data showed wholesale price based inflation fell 1.4% in July, easing from the 4.1% decline in June.

Watch India’s retail inflation in July jumps to 7.44% from 4.87% in June: Government Data

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