New Delhi: After rising for five months in a row, retail inflation in February fell to 3-month low of 5.18 percent as food prices including vegetables, pulses and fruits became less costly.
Retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), was at 5.69 percent in January this year. In February last year, it stood at 5.37 percent.
The rate of price rise last month was the slowest since November, when the inflation print was 5.41 percent.
It also provided a break from a continued increase in inflation for 5 months; the rate of price rise had been on an upward trajectory since September 2015 when it had moved up by over a percentage point to 4.41 percent.
Food inflation for last month softened to 5.30 percent as prices of vegetables, pulses, fruits and milk turned cheaper, government data showed today. In January, it was 6.85 percent.
Inflation in pulses was lower at 38.30 percent during the month, while the rate of price rise in vegetables was at 0.70 percent. In January, it was 43.32 percent and 6.39 percent respectively.
Fruit prices turned into a deflation zone at (-)0.72 percent in February.
Retail price rise of 'cereals and products' remained almost flat at 2.18 percent and that for 'meat and fish' category, moved down with an inflation print of 7.27 percent.
However, prices of eggs shot up significantly during the month with inflation standing at 6.19 percent.
The inflation rates, based on CPI for rural areas, stood at 5.97 percent in February, while that for urban areas it was at 4.30 percent.
The prices are collected by the government from selected towns by the Field Operations Division of National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) and from selected villages by the Department of Posts.
The monthly data is released by the Central Statistics Office, under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The CPI data for March will be released on April 12.