Indian Retail Inflation Soars to 6.95% in March

Retail inflation of India accelerated to 6.95% in March, signalling a sustained food price rise, government data showed on Tuesday. Retail inflation, as measured by the CPI (Consumer Price Index) was 6.07% in the month of February.

Indian Retail Inflation Soars to 6.95% in March

Food inflation jumped to 7.68% in the reporting month as compared to 5.85% in February. Investors will be worried about the retail inflation data, which came well above the Reserve Bank’s upper tolerance band for a third straight month. Food prices, which account for nearly half the inflation basket, remained elevated as supply chain problems related to the Russia-Ukraine war disrupt global grain production, supply of edible oils and fertiliser exports.

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Prices of palm oil, the world’s most widely used vegetable oil, surged nearly 50% this year. Food price rises are sharply felt by millions living below the poverty line who have already taken a hit on jobs and incomes due to the pandemic. The RBI surprised markets Friday by saying it now prioritises tackling inflation over supporting economic growth, shifting gears after more than two years.

Governor Shaktikanta Das and his colleagues signaled they will focus on withdrawing accommodative policies, while introducing a new 3.75% standing deposit facility rate to soak up excess cash from lenders. The policy decision last week effectively kicked off a tightening cycle to tackle inflation, which the Central bank sees at 5.7% in the current fiscal year, against a 4.5% forecast earlier. Meanwhile, the index of industrial production (IIP) grew 1.7% in February as against 1.3% in January. IIP growth slumped to a 10-month low of 0.4% in December last year.

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Indian Retail Inflation Soars to 6.95% in March via @marketinvestor
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