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Retail inflation eases to 4.83% in April

Food inflation surged to a four-month high of 8.7% in April from 8.52% in March. Representational file image.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Consumers faced a further acceleration in steep food prices in April, even as India’s overall retail inflation remained virtually unchanged at 4.83% last month, compared with 4.85% in March.

Food inflation surged to a four-month high of 8.7% in April from 8.52% in March, with rural consumers witnessing a sharper uptick of 8.75% in food prices. The gap between urban and rural consumers’ inflation experience remained sharp for the second successive month with rural households seeing a 5.43% rise in prices, while the overall inflation rate faced by urban consumers remained virtually unchanged from 4.14% in March to 4.11% in April.

On a month-on-month basis, price levels rose about 0.5%, with urban consumers facing a sharper uptick in overall prices as well as food items. Food prices rose 1.03% from March levels in urban India, while the rise was more subdued for their rural counterparts at 0.59%. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up 0.6% over March for urban households, while it was 0.37% higher for rural India.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) expects retail inflation to ease to an average of 4.5% this year from the 5.4% clocked in 2023-24, with the ongoing April to June quarter expected to see an average inflation of 4.9%. With April reporting a marginally lower inflation rate than the RBI’s projected average for the quarter, there could see some hardening in prices over this month and June.

The government has tasked the Reserve Bank to ensure inflation remains at 4%, with a margin of 2% on either side.

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