Consumer price inflation edges up further to hit 5.37% in January

13 March 2015

Consumer price inflation edged up to 5.37 per cent in February, rising steadily from 5.11 per cent in January, 5 per cent in December and 4.38 per cent in November, pointing to the risk of a rebound in inflationary pressures from rising commodity prices.

The actual rise in consumer prices in February could be more than the currently estimated 5.37 per cent when compared with an upward revision in inflation figures to 5.19 per cent in January.

While a fall in global oil prices and weak consumption have driven down India's inflation rate from double digits of 2013, allowing leeway for the central bank to cut interest rates to spur growth, the current rising trend could be a negative for an easing of the RBI's monetary policy.

Provisional figures released by the Central Statistics Office showed the general inflation rate (combined rural and urban) stood at 5.37 per cent in February 2015 while the inflation rate for rural areas stood at 5.79 per cent and that for urban areas at 4.95 per cent.

The combined inflation rate for food items stood at 6.79 per cent while food price inflation for urban and rural areas stood at 6.34 per cent and 7.52 per cent, respectively.

The data comes ahead of Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy meeting on 7 April and a week after the central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points for the second time this year.

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