NEW DELHI: Retail inflation increased marginally to 5 per cent in December from 4.8 per cent the previous owing to a spurt in prices of fruits and vegetables. Where as in December 2013, retail inflation was at 9.87 per cent.
Retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was at its lowest level in November since the Government started computing the new series in January 2012.
As per the official data released on Monday, food inflation rose to 4.78 per cent in December 2014, from 3.14 per cent in previous month.
Retail prices of vegetables increased by 0.58 per cent as against a decline of 10.9 per cent in November. Fruits were costlier by 14.84 per cent, while the rate of price rise for the same was at 13.74 per cent in previous month.
Experts believe that the Reserve Bank of India might go in for a downward revision of interest rates in its forthcoming monetary policy review slated for February 3 despite a marginal hike in inflation in December.
Category under food and beverages witnessed a rise of 5 per cent in December, over 3.5 per cent in previous month. Inflation in protein-rich items like eggs, fish and meat was down at 5.24 per cent in December, from 6.48 per cent in the previous month.
Also, prices of oil and fats declined by 1.24 per cent in December over a decline of 0.83 per cent in November.
Among other items, prices of cereals and their products came down further to 3.98 per cent in December from 5.2 per cent in November. In the pulses and products category, retail inflation in December stood at 7.24 per cent, marginally down from 7.54 per cent in November.
For items in fuel and lights, inflation softened to 3.41 per cent during the month. For milk and its products, the rate of price rise stood at 9.62 per cent in December against 10.24 per cent a month ago.