Retail inflation at 10.79%

New Delhi, Feb. 12 (PTI): Rising for the fourth consecutive month, retail inflation remained in double digits at 10.79 per cent in January, driven by higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, cereals and protein-based items.

Retail inflation had stood at 10.56 per cent in December, 9.90 per cent in November and 9.75 per cent in October 2012.

The vegetable basket in January recorded the highest inflation of 26.11 per cent among all the constituents that make the consumer price index (CPI), according to data released today.

Vegetables were followed by the oil and fat segment at 14.98 per cent. Meat, fish and egg became costlier by 13.73 per cent during the month.

While cereals and pulses became dearer by 14.90 per cent and 12.76 per cent, respectively, on an annual basis, sugar turned expensive by 12.95 per cent.

Clothing and footwear witnessed an 11 per cent increase in prices.

In urban areas, retail inflation rose to 10.73 per cent in January from 10.42 per cent in the previous month. The price index for rural population increased to 10.88 per cent during the month from 10.74 per cent in December.

Data for wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation are expected on Thursday. WPI inflation for December stood at 7.24 per cent, much higher than the RBI's comfort level of 5-6 per cent.

The Reserve Bank in its monetary policy last month had slashed key interest rates by 0.25 per cent and released Rs 18,000 crore additional liquidity into the system to perk up growth.

The RBI has forecast the March end WPI inflation at 6.8 per cent.


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