India’s Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation in December eased marginally to 5.7 per cent, staying within the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) tolerance band of 2-6 per cent.

According to the latest data released on Thursday by the National Statistical Office (NSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, CPI or the retail inflation in November was at 11-month low of 5.88 per cent. For October it was 6.7 per cent, while it was 7.14 per cent in September. Retail inflation was 5.66 per cent in December last year. 

Lower food prices, particularly the decline in vegetable prices, helped keep inflation within the RBI’s tolerance level.

The data released by the NSO on Thursday showed food inflation, which accounts for about 40 per cent of the inflation basket, came in at 4.19 per cent in December as against 4.67 per cent in the preceding month. At 10.97 per cent YoY, the inflation was the highest in fuel and light category. It was followed by 9.58 per cent in clothing and footwear category. In food and beverages category, the inflation was 4.58 per cent.

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The rural inflation was higher at 6.05 per cent as compared to 5.39 per cent in urban areas. In December 2021, the inflation was higher in urban areas.

According to the data, the CPI has remain above the medium-term target of 4 per cent for over three years. As per the data released by the NSO, inflation in the food basket was at 4.19 per cent in December as against 4.67 per cent in November.

After remaining above the Reserve Bank of India’s upper tolerance threshold of 6 per cent since January 2022, retail inflation declined in November to 5.88 per cent and further in December to 5.72 per cent, its lowest level in one year.

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