India’s annual retail inflation rose to 3.65 per cent in February from 3.17 per cent during the previous month, official data showed on Tuesday.
However, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the index had risen by 5.26 per cent during the corresponding period of last year.
According to CPI data, the rise in retail inflation was mainly due to a surge in the annual food inflation by 2.01 per cent last month from 0.61 per cent in January.
The CPI data revealed that the annual retail inflation for rural India was 3.67 per cent while that for the urban centres was 3.55 per cent. The annual food inflation was 2.08 per cent in rural areas and 1.87 per cent in the urban areas.
Even after the rise, the annual retail inflation is still below the upper tolerance level of six per cent.
The government target is four per cent plus-or-minus two percentage points for the next five years.
The official data disclosed that prices of vegetable plunged by (-)8.29 per cent on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, whereas cost of pulses and its products was lower by (-)9.02 per cent.
However, the prices of milk and milk-based products surged by 4.22 per cent. Other protein-based food items such as meat and fish became dearer by 3.50 per cent.
Besides, eggs became a shade expensive by 0.54 per cent and the cost of spices rose by 3.82 per cent.
Edible oils and fats prices increased by 3.83 per cent, whereas those for sugar and confectionery edged up by 18.83 per cent on a YoY basis.
The cost of cereals and its products appreciated by 5.30 per cent and prices of fruits were up by 8.33 per cent.
Among the states, the retail inflation was lowest in Chhattisgarh, at 0.61 per cent, followed by Assam at 1.28 per cent, and Odisha at 1.61 per cent.
On the flip side, it was as high as 7.14 per cent in Jammu and Kashmir, 6.16 per cent in Himachal Pradesh and 6.11 per cent in Delhi.