India’s retail inflation eases slightly in February, almost unchanged from January: Govt data

NEW DELHI: India’s annual retail inflation in February increased at a faster pace than expected, mainly due to higher food prices, as per government data released on Tuesday.
Although there was a slight easing, with annual retail inflation coming down to 5.09% in February from 5.10% in January, it remained higher than the 5.02% forecasted by a Reuters poll of 42 economists.
Food inflation, which makes up nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, rose to 8.66% in February, compared to an 8.30% increase in January.
This rise in food prices has raised concerns among policymakers, even though retail inflation is within the mandated range of 2%-6%.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to keep interest rates unchanged until it achieves a durable inflation rate of 4%.
Core inflation, excluding volatile food and energy prices, is estimated to be between 3.03% and 3.37% in February, down from 3.6% in January, according to two economists.
(With inputs from agencies)

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