Lower fuel prices further eased India's retail inflation in December to 2.19 per cent from the annual rate of 2.33 per cent in November, even as food prices appreciated somewhat over the previous month although continuing to remain in the negative zone, official data showed on Monday.
Meanwhile, Commerce Ministry data earlier on Monday showed that lower fuel and manufactured products prices eased India's annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices (WPI) to 3.80 per cent in December 2018 from 4.64 per cent in November, official data showed here on Monday.
According to the Central Statistics Office, the fall in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), or retail inflation, last month was much sharper as compared to the CPI at 5.21 per cent in December 2017.
The Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) deflation reversed marginally to (-)2.51 per cent in December, from (-)2.61 per cent in the previous month.
Product-wise, prices of milk-based products, meat and fish rose during the month under review on a year-on-year (YoY) basis.
In contrast, deflation in the cost of eggs, vegetables, pulses and sugar capped the overall food prices.
The prices of milk-based products rose marginally by 0.85 per cent while cereals became dearer by 1.25 per cent and meat and fish prices recorded a rise of 5.02 per cent.
Among the sub-categories, vegetable prices reduced on a YoY basis in December by (-)16.14 per cent.
On the other hand, the category of "pulses and products" became cheaper by (-)7.13 per cent and that of "sugar and confectionery" by (-)9.22 per cent.
The sub-category of food and beverages during the month under consideration recorded a fall of (-)1.49 per cent over the same period last year.
Among non-food categories, the "fuel and light" segment's retail inflation rate fell to 4.54 per cent in December, as compared to 7.39 per cent in November.
The cost of fuel and power segment in the wholesale category increased at a slower pace of 8.38 per cent, as against a growth of 16.28 per cent in November
The wholesale expenses on manufactured products in December registered a lower rise of 3.59 per cent, compared to 4.21 per cent in the previous month.
The recent lowering of GDP growth estimates and further cooling of inflation have raised expectations about an accomodative change in the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy stance when its monetary policy committee (MPC) meets early next month for its final policy review of the fiscal.