Economy

Retail inflation inches higher at 4.58% in April vs 4.28% in March

Retail inflation inches higher at 4.58% in April vs 4.28% in March

India's wholesale price inflation stood at 3.18% for the month of April 2018, corresponding to the same month in the preceding year, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said on Monday.

The index for Coal group rose by 0.3% to 123.0 (provisional) from 122.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of lignite (8%).

The government CPI (consumer price index) data showed food price inflation unchanged at 2.8 per cent in April, while the prices of pulses and product fell for the seventh straight month to 12.35 per cent.

Fruit prices rose an annual 9.7 per cent during April, while housing shot up 8.5 per cent. Fuel and light rose 5.2 per cent, while food and beverages grew 3 per cent.

"We expect the trajectory to move north with worldwide crude prices firming up and likely remaining elevated as also by MSP-led food inflation.for FY 19 (2018-19) at 4.7 per cent with upward bias". Experts say the inflation rates, which were much higher than what was estimated by the government for the month, may be pushed further in the coming months, thanks to unyielding oil prices.

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The rise in inflation rates have given rise to expectations of a prolonged pause on policy rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in this financial year. The rate had increased to 3.85 per cent in April 2017. The rise in inflation rate for fruits, cereals, meat and fish, oils and fats, and spices was more than offset by the decline in the inflation print for vegetables, sugar, eggs, and milk and products.

The index for Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas group rose by 2.4% to 82.1 (provisional) from 80.2 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of natural gas (4%) and crude petroleum (2%). It increased by 3.11 per cent, from 3.03 per cent in March.

According to Shubhada M Rao, chief economist at Yes Bank Ltd.in Mumbai, core inflation was at 5.9 percent - a 44-month high. The Consumer Food Price Index, however, was a tad lower to 2.8 per cent in April from 2.81 percent of March.

"The global rise in crude oil prices remains a key risk for the inflation trajectory".

India's annual wholesale price inflation picked up in October to a six.