Retail inflation up at 7.59 pc in Jan on costlier food items, Dec IIP contracts 0.3 pc


New Delhi: The retail inflation in January accelerated to 7.59 per cent due to higher prices of food items, government data showed on Wednesday.

In December, the consumer price index (CPI) stood at 7.35 per cent.

Figures released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed that retail inflation in rural areas was at 7.73 per cent last month and 7.39 per cent in urban areas.

Inflation in the food basket jumped to 13.63 per cent from 14.12 per cent in December 2019. Inflation in vegetables improved to 50.19 per cent as against 60.50 per cent in December 2019.

Besides, the prices of cereals and products grew at a pace of 5.25 per cent.

The Reserve Bank of India has kept its repo rate unchanged at 5.15 per cent in its February meet despite slowing growth and revised its inflation projections.

The central bank estimates it will range between 5 and 5.4 per cent in the first half of the new fiscal year 2020-21.

Meanwhile, industrial production contracted by 0.3 per cent in December due to a decline in the manufacturing sector against 2.5 per cent growth in the same month year ago.

“The quick estimates of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with base 2011-12 for the month of December 2019 stands at 133.5, which is 0.3 per cent lower as compared to the level in the month of December 2018,” according to an official statement.

Electricity generation dipped by 0.1 per cent as against a growth of 4.5 per cent in December 2018 while the mining sector output grew by 5.4 per cent as compared to a contraction of 1 per cent earlier.

“The cumulative growth for the period of April to December 2019 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 0.5 per cent,” it added.