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Higher food prices lift India’s June retail inflation to 3.18 pc

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Rising for sixth month in a row, retail inflation rose to 3.18 percent in June due to costlier food products such as grains, pulses and protein-rich items meat and fish, government data showed Friday.

According to a PTI report: The Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based retail inflation was at 3.05 percent in the preceding month of May 2019. In the year-ago period, the retail inflation was at 4.92 percent in June 2018.

Retail inflation has been showing a rising trend since January this year when it stood at 1.97 percent.

The overall food inflation based on consumer food price index rose to 2.17 percent in June as against 1.83 percent in the previous month, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed.

The inflation for protein-rich ‘meat and fish’ category quickened to 9.01 percent during the month (against 8.12 percent month earlier).

For the ‘pulses and products’ category, the rate of price rise was sharply higher at 5.68 percent against 2.13 percent, while the inflation in the ‘cereals and products’ basket rose to 1.31 percent from 1.21 percent in May this year.

However, prices of fruits continued to show deflationary trend with inflation standing at (-)4.18 percent, while inflation in vegetables eased to 4.66 percent.

For the ‘fuel and light’ category, retail inflation in June slowed a tad at 2.32 percent.

“In line with our expectation, CPI inflation remained largely benign…despite the delay in the monsoon and kharif sowing.

“While vegetable prices are likely to firm up in the ongoing month on the basis of seasonal factors as well as higher transport costs, the pick-up in the monsoon rainfall in the last week is likely to boost sowing in the near term, which would help keep food inflation in check,” Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA was quoted by PTI as saying.

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