According to the data released by the Central Statistics Office, retail inflation for the month of April increased marginally to 4.58% from 4.28% in March. The increase in inflation can be attributed to the rise in prices of household goods, fuel, personal care items, etc. In April 2017, retail inflation in the country declined significantly to 2.99%.
Retail inflation is measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI), and this is the measure used by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to track any changes in the country’s inflation levels. CPI is a measure based on various commodities commonly used by people in the country. While it primarily includes the price of household items, it also includes certain services essential to people.
The marginal increase in retail inflation still remains within RBI’s tolerance level of 6%. Last month, RBI reduced its inflation projection for the period between January and March to 4.5% from its previous estimate of 5.1%.
One of the major contributors to CPI was core inflation, which includes the prices of non-food and non-fuel items used by consumers. Core inflation reached an all-time high of 6% in the month of April. Food price inflation, on the other hand, increased 2.8% as against an increase of 2.81% in the month of March.
Fuel inflation for the month of April stood at 5.24% as against 5.7% in March. Among the other major indices, vegetable prices grew to 7.29% compared to a growth of 11.7% in March. Housing inflation increased to 8.5% from 8.31% in the previous month. Transport and communication inflation increased to 4.5% mainly because of the increase in fuel prices.
Experts attribute the rise in inflation to the increase in price of crude oil in the global market. Crude oil price is considered to be a major risk factor when it comes to inflation in the country. Any increase in crude price is likely to increase the prices of all consumer goods. This, in turn, will contribute to the increase in retail inflation.