Consumer price inflation hits a 19-month low of 2.19% in December

Consumer price inflation in the country dropped to 2.19 per cent in December 2018, hitting the lowest since June 2017, helped by a fall in food prices and benign increases in fuel prices, official data released today showed.

Consumer price inflation had declined to 2.33 per cent in November 2018 from 3.31 per cent in October, and has been ruling well below the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term inflation target of 4.0 per cent for some months now. 
This opens up the possibility of the RBI, under the new governor, easing its monetary policy at its next meeting after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI left the repo rate at 6.50 per cent while reiterating its target of keeping consumer inflation at 4.00 per cent in the medium term on a “durable basis”.
The annual rate of inflation in food prices, which account for about half of the consumer price index (CPI), declined further to (-) 2.51 per cent in December from (-) 2.61 per cent in November.
Consumer price inflation for the rural areas stood at 1.65 in December 2018 against 1.71 per cent in November, and 5.27 per cent in December 2017. 
Consumer price inflation for the urban areas stood at 2.91 in December 2018 against 3.12 per cent in November and 5.09 per cent in December last year.
Food price inflation for rural areas stood at (-) 2.84 per cent in December 2018 against (-) 2.33 per cent in November 2018 and 5.08 per cent in December last year.
Food price inflation for urban areas stood at -1.89 in December 2018 against (-) 3.04 per cent in November 2018 and 4.71 per cent in December last year.