A customer holds an Indian one-hundred rupee banknote for a photograph at a in a vegetable market in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

India’s Retail Inflation Rises At Fastest Pace In 17 Months

Retail Inflation in India rose to a fresh 17-month high in December as higher vegetable and crude oil prices coupled with an unfavourable base kept consumer prices above the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target.

Consumer price inflation accelerated to 5.2 percent over the same month last year, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office today. CPI Inflation had reached 4.88 percent in November and 3.58 percent in October. Economists polled by Bloomberg had forecast retail inflation at 5.1 percent.

“Even so, inflation appears to be close to a peak," wrote Bloomberg Intelligence economist Abhishekh Gupta in a prior note. Higher vegetable prices, particularly the seasonal surge in onions and tomatoes, have kept India’s inflation on the rise since July, after hitting an all-time low. However, a fresh supply of tomatoes from December-end and onions by March is expected to pull prices lower.

India’s Retail Inflation Rises At Fastest Pace In 17 Months
  • Consumer food prices went up 4.96 percent over last year compared to a 4.42 percent rise in November.
  • Prices of pulses and products fell 23.5 percent year-on-year. Prices have softened for the thirteenth straight month.
  • Fuel and light inflation stood at 7.9 percent compared to 7.92 percent in November.
  • Housing inflation stood at 8.25 percent, compared to 7.36 percent in November.
  • Prices of clothing and footwear went up 4.8 percent over last year compared to 4.96 percent in November.