Consumer price inflation based on the on all-India general consumer price index moderated to 9.87 per cent in December 2013, down from a nine-month high of 11.24 per cent in November 2013. The December level is the lowest level the consumer price index hit over the past three months.
The fall has been attributed to a fall in the prices of vegetables and fruits, which have been ruling firm for the past several months.
Fruit prices rose by 14.64 per cent in December 2013, against a 15 per cent rise in November. Pulses were dearer by 2.15 per cent, cereals by 12.14 per cent and milk products by 9.87 per cent. Protein-rich items such as eggs, meat and fish became dearer by 12.64 per cent.
Inflation for food and beverages eased to 12.76 per cent in December from 14.72 per cent in the previous month, provisional data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed.
The all-India general CPI (combined) for December 2013 stood at 9.87 per cent compared to 11.16% (final) for the previous month (November 2013).
The corresponding provisional inflation rates for rural and urban areas for December 2013 stood at 10.49 per cent and 9.11 per cent, respectively. Inflation rates (final) for rural and urban areas for November 2013 are 11.66 per cent and 10.53 per cent, respectively.
The wholesale price index-based inflation (WPI) rate for December, due to be announced on 15 January, is expected to be 50 basis points lower than in November.
C Rangarajan, chairman of the PM's economic advisory council, has forecast that WPI could be as low as 6.5 per cent in December, against the 7.52 per cent level hit in November and the 7 per cent recorded in October because of higher prices of fruit, vegetables and eggs.