Retail inflation rises to 10.79% in January

Retail inflation rises to 10.79% in January New Delhi: Rising for the fourth consecutive month, retail inflation remained in double digits at 10.79 percent in January, driven by higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, cereals and protein-based items.

The retail inflation had stood at 10.56 percent in December, 9.90 percent in November and 9.75 percent in October, 2012.

The vegetables basket in January recorded the highest inflation of 26.11 percent among all the constituents that make the Consumer Price Index (CPI), according to data released Tuesday.

Vegetables were followed by the oil and fats segment at 14.98 percent. Meat, fish and egg became 13.73 percent more expensive during the month.

While, cereals and pulses became dearer by 14.90 percent and 12.76 percent respectively on an annual basis, sugar turned more expensive by 12.95 percent.

Clothing and footwear witnessed 11 percent increase in prices during the month.

In urban areas, retail inflation rose to 10.73 percent in January from 10.42 percent in the previous month. The CPI for rural population increased to 10.88 percent during the month from 10.74 percent in December.

The data for wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation is expected on Thursday. The WPI figures for December stood at 7.24 percent, much higher than RBI's comfort level of 5-6 percent.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its monetary policy last month had slashed its key interest rates by 0.25 percent and released Rs 18,000 crore additional liquidity into the system to perk up growth through reduced cost of borrowing.

The RBI has forecast the March end WPI inflation at 6.8 percent.

Meanwhile, industrial output growth rate contracted by 0.6 percent in December, 2012, compared to a growth of 2.7 percent in same month a year ago.

PTI