Inflation rises again in April on food, fuel prices

Inflation rises again in April on food, fuel prices

Reversing the declining trend of three months, retail inflation inched up to 4.58 per cent in April and may prompt the Reserve Bank to harden stance at the monetary policy review next month. Retail inflation, based on movement in Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose after declining since January on account of rise in prices of cereals, meat, fish and fruits.

Consumer price index for the month of April has surged to 4.58 per cent.

In the fuel and power category, the price of high speed diesel grew the most, by 13.01%. The rate had increased to 3.85 per cent in April 2017.

Growth in the wholesale price index (WPI) accelerated from2.47% in March to 3.18% with inflation in the "crude petroleum and natural gas" segment surging to 15.5% in April from 8.23% in the previous month.

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The category of food and beverages during the month under consideration recorded a rise of 3 per cent over the same period past year.

"The index for crude petroleum rose by only about 1% to 73.9 in April 2018 from the revised 72.6 in February 2018, despite the around 10% rise in the price of the Indian crude oil basket in INR terms to about ₹4,513/barrel in April 2018 from about ₹4,084/barrel in February 2018". However, inflation in the vegetable segment was lower at 7.29 percent in April compared to 11.7 percent. Inflation rate for fruits rose sharply to double digits of 19.47 per cent in April from 9.26 per cent in March. Housing inflation increased to 8.50 per cent in April from 8.31 per cent in March and inflation rate for "clothing and footwear" increased to 5.11 per cent in April from 4.91 per cent.

That was above the 2.9 percent increase economists had forecast. According to the Commerce Ministry data, the WPI inflation in April 2017 was at 3.85 per cent. The biggest risk that Asia's third-largest economy faces is rising crude oil prices, which hit $78 a barrel last week, their highest since November 2014 following prospects of new US sanctions on Iran.

In addition, India Ratings and Research's Chief Economist Devendra Kumar Pant said: "Higher core-core inflation (non-food, non-fuel and light and non-transport and communication) shot to 34 months high at 6 per cent".

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