Retail inflation rises to 6.95 per cent in March on higher food, fuel prices

New Delhi: According to government data released on Tuesday, retail inflation in India rose to 6.95 per cent in March from 6.07 per cent a month ago.

The reading has remained above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) tolerance limit for the third consecutive month, mainly due to costlier food items.

The consumer price index (CPI) based inflation stood at 6.07 per cent in February. Inflation in the food basket stood at 7.68 per cent in March, up from 5.85 per cent in the previous month.

The rise in retail inflation was due to edible oils (18.79 per cent), vegetables (11.64 per cent), meat and fish (9.63 per cent), footwear and clothing (9.4 per cent), the National Statistics Office (NSO) revealed in a data released on Tuesday. Hui. percent), and fuel and light (7.52 percent).

This is the third consecutive month that retail inflation has remained above the central bank’s comfort zone.

The RBI, which primarily factors in retail inflation while arriving at its bi-monthly monetary policy, has been tasked by the government to keep inflation between 2 per cent and 6 per cent.

The RBI kept policy rates unchanged in its latest monetary policy review on Friday, but indicated that it would now prioritize keeping inflation under control rather than stimulating growth.

The central bank changed its growth forecast downwards and raised its inflation forecast by assuming the price of crude oil at $100 a barrel due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The GDP growth forecast for FY13 was revised upwards to 7.2 per cent from 7.8 per cent estimated during the February meeting. The inflation forecast for FY13 has been sharply revised upwards from 4.5 per cent to 5.7 per cent.

A Reuters poll of 48 economists from April 4-8 suggested that inflation, as measured by the CPI, would rise to 6.35 percent on an annualized basis in March, from 6.07 percent in February. This will be the highest reading since November 2020.