Driven by rising prices certain food items, retail inflation soared to a seven-month high of 6.01% in January, breaching the upper tolerance level of the Reserve Bank. According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the government on Monday, the retail inflation in 'oils and fats' category stood at 18.7%.
Several other segments, including fuel and light, clothing and footwear and transport and communication witnessed over 9% price rise on an annual basis. The CPI inflation in December 2021 has been revised upwards to 5.66% from 5.59%. In the year-ago month of January 2021, the retail inflation stood at 4.06%. The previous high was 6.26% in June 2021.
As per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), the inflation in the food basket was 5.43% in January 2022 as against 4.05% in the preceding month. The rate of price rise in 'cereals and products' quickened to 3.39% during the month as against 2.62% in December.
Likewise, the retail inflation in 'meat and fish' category accelerated to 5.47% from 4.58%. In vegetables, the inflation moved up to 5.19% against a deceleration of (-)2.99% in December.
However, price rise of 'oil and fats' softened during the month with an inflation print at 18.70%. Fuel and light segment too witnessed a softening of inflation at 9.32% against 10.95%. The Reserve Bank, which mainly factors in the CPI-based inflation, has been tasked by the government to keep the inflation at 4%, with margin of 2% on either side.