The government had not released the headline retail inflation data in April and May.
India’s retail inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew 6.09 per cent in the month of June, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
The government had not released the headline retail inflation data in April and May. However, in April, it had revised the CPI data for the month of March to 5.84 per cent from 5.91 per cent.
The retail inflation has grown beyond the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) upper margin of 6 per cent. The government has mandated the Indian central bank to keep inflation within the range of 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on either side.
The Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) or the inflation in the food basket eased to 7.87 per cent in the month of June as the supply related issues because of the nationwide lockdown eased. The CFPI for May was revised to 9.20 per cent, the data showed.
The retail inflation growth was mainly due to a rise in pulses and products prices that saw a 16.68 per cent on-year rise in June. Apart from pulses and products segment, the meat and fish segment saw a rise of 16.22 per cent, while that of oils and fats rose 12.27 per cent and spices prices gained 11.74 per cent.
“In view of the preventive measures and announcement of nation-wide lockdown by the Government to contain spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the price collection of Consumer Price Index (CPI) through personal visits of price collectors was suspended. During the lockdown period, prices were collected through telephonic call from the designated outlets in selected markets, which was supplemented by information collected during the personal purchase of field staff for the items being transacted from neighborhood outlets keeping in view the travel advisories,” the government release said.
“As the various pandemic related restrictions were gradually lifted and non-essential activities started resuming operations, NSO collected prices from 1030 urban markets and 998 villages, for commodities that were available and transacted during the month of June, 2020. The data collected, however, did not meet the adequacy criteria for generating robust estimates of CPIs at the State-level,” the statement said.
Reflecting on the development, Deepthi Mary Mathew, Economist at Geojit Financial Services, said, “Inflation rate at 6.09 per cent is just above the target fixed by the RBI. Though the inflation rate is above the upper band, RBI would continue with the rate cut cycle, considering the economic damage caused by COVID-19.”