NEW DELHI: India’s retail and wholesale inflation rates went up in April on account of high oil prices. Experts say the inflation rates, which were much higher than what was estimated by the government for the month, may be pushed further in the coming months, thanks to unyielding oil prices. India’s retail inflation rose to 4.58 per cent in April from 2.99 per cent in the corresponding month last year, official data showed on Monday.
Consumer Food Price Index during the month under review stood at 2.80 per cent, compared to a rise of 2.81 per cent reported for March 2018. The annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) in rural areas in April ruled higher at 4.67 per cent, while in urban India, the CPI rose by 4.42 per cent. As per the data available, the retail inflation rate on a year-on-year basis rose due to higher prices of food items like vegetables, milk-based products, eggs, meat and fish.
On a sub-category basis, vegetables became costly by 7.29 per cent in April, while prices of milk-based products rose by 3.21 per cent. Among non-food categories, inflation rate of the “fuel and light” segment accelerated to 5.24 per cent. Wholesale Price Index-based inflation, which had been falling since November, hit a four-month high in April, rising to 3.18 per cent. Food prices went up by 0.87 per cent last month, after a deflation of 0.29 per cent in March.
The cost of fuel and power, which commands a 13.15 per cent weightage in the index, increased at a fast pace of 7.85 per cent during the month, from a growth of 4.70 per cent in March. Inflation in the energy category rose at a four-month high — by 7.85 per cent, from 4.70 per cent in the previous month. Prices of high-speed diesel rose twice as fast at 13 per cent and petrol prices rose by 9.45 per cent, up from the 2.55 per cent rise seen in March. However, the LPG prices continued to drop at a faster rate of 11 per cent. Inflation in manufactured products remained at 3.11 per cent. Monday’s data is the final price print issued before the Reserve Bank of India’s policy review slated on June 6. Crude oil prices holding at current levels will fan inflation in Asia’s third-largest economy.