New Delhi: India’s retail inflation slowed to 5.1 per cent in January this year from 5.69 per cent in December 2023, bringing some relief to household budgets, according to official figures released on Monday.
Food inflation, which accounts for close to half of the overall consumer price index (CPI), fell to 8.3 per cent in January from 9.05 per cent in December. However, the prices of vegetables, pulses and spices registered a double-digit growth during the month, though there was some consolation as cooking oil prices continued to decline during the month.
The data show that vegetables prices shot up by as much as 27.03 per cent, which was lower than the 31.34 per cent during December. There was no relief as far as pulses are concerned as they turned costlier by 19.54 per cent, while spices were dearer by 16.36 per cent. The prices of cereals went up by 7.83 per cent in January as against 9.53 per cent in December.
The consumer price inflation is now above the 4 per cent midpoint of the RBI’s 2-6 per cent target range and is the main reason why the RBI is not going for a cut in interest rates to spur economic growth.
The central bank is keen to keep inflation under control to ensure stability and has held the repo rate steady at 6.5 per cent for six consecutive times in-a-row in its bi-monthly monetary policy reviews.