Inflation breaches RBI band in January

The RBI, which mainly factors in the CPI-based inflation, has been tasked to keep the inflation at 4%, with margin of 2% on either side

New Delhi: Driven by higher consumer goods and telecom prices along with a comparatively low reading a year ago, India's headline inflation rate, based on the Consumer Price Index or CPI, jumped to 6.01 per cent in January, thereby crossing the Reserve Bank's tolerance band of 2-6 per cent for the first time in seven months. It is the highest print so far. The CPI inflation was 5.66 per cent in December 2021, as per data released by the National Statistical Office on Monday.

The RBI, which mainly factors in the CPI-based inflation, has been tasked by the government to keep the inflation at 4 per cent, with margin of 2 per cent on either side.

Earlier in the day, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das also warned that today's inflation print is expected to be around 6 per cent. "So that should not surprise or create any alarm, because we have taken that into consideration," Das said.

The data showed that food inflation too surged to 5.43 per cent in January compared to 4.05 per cent in December. Prices of cereals, eggs and milk products rose in January compared to December, which led to a spike in retail inflation.

"Inflation in the oils and fats segment soared to 18.7 per cent in the reporting month, while the price rise in the fuel and light category too stayed elevated at 9.32 per cent in January. Similarly, the rate of price rise in the food and beverages segment stood at 5.58 per cent in January as well," the data showed.

Meanwhile, despite hardening of food prices, wholesale inflation for January eased for the second consecutive month at 12.96 per cent, but remained in double digits for tenth straight month in a row. The main reason for the slight dip in prices is a slower rise in prices of manufactured products than in the previous month, separate data from the commerce and industry ministry showed.

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