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Govt releases retail inflation data; Jan CPI at 7.65%

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 | 00:00
Inflation based on the all-India Consumer Price Index stood at 7.65 per cent in January, as per the first nationwide retail inflation data released by the Government today.
While ‘food and beverages’ reported a moderate rate of price rise of 4.11 per cent year-on-year in January, the inflation numbers for fuel and light, and clothing, bedding and footwear segments were in double-digits.
Overall, retail inflation in rural and urban areas stood at 7.38 per cent and 8.25 per cent in January, respectively.
“There was a long-pending demand of ministries and various users for a comprehensive consumer inflation rate. To meet this demand, annual inflation rates based on this broad-based CPI series for January 2012 are released today,” the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr Srikant Jena, said.
The all-India CPI will be in addition to the three retail price indices — for agricultural labourers, rural labourers and industrial workers — prepared by the Ministry of Labour.
The new nationwide CPI is being prepared by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and is eventually expected to replace the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) as the benchmark inflation.
Vegetables were cheaper by over 24 per cent on a nationwide basis in January over the same month last year. However, other food and beverages reported a rise in prices.
In rural and urban areas, inflation in the segment stood at 4.18 per cent and 3.98 per cent, respectively.
Milk and milk products became 16.53 per cent more expensive on an annual basis, while the price of oils and fats went up by 13.47 per cent. Condiments and spices became dearer by 11.83 per cent and fruits by 10.62 per cent.
Egg, meat and fish were dearer by 10.45 per cent in January, while cereals and pulses reported a price rise of 2.69 per cent and 5.66 per cent, respectively.
Sugar was 1.84 per cent expensive in January compared to the same month of last year. Inflation in non-alcoholic beverages stood at 11.52 per cent and prepared meals were dearer by 10.39 per cent.
Inflation in fuel and light segment stood at 13.13 per cent for the whole country. In rural areas, fuel and light inflation stood at 13.70 per cent and in urban areas at 12.43 per cent.
On an all-India basis, clothing, bedding and footwear reported 14.25 per cent inflation in January. The segment reported a price rise of 13.78 per cent and 15.39 per cent in rural and urban areas, respectively.
However, the Government did not release the retail inflation data for two other segments — housing and miscellaneous items.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation had launched the nationwide CPI from January 2011 without quoting the inflation rate so that the data gets stabilised.
It is for the first time that the Government has come out with inflation based on retail prices in rural, urban and all-India basis.
The Government had earlier said that CPI will “reflect the actual movement of prices at the micro-level and help policymakers like the RBI in better framing of decisions’’.
The data for the index is collected from 310 cities and towns and over 1,180 rural centres.
Experts believe that the CPI will become a benchmark for the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy decisions, besides being used by the Government but it will take some time for it to replace the WPI.
Inflation based on WPI was 6.55 per cent in January this year.
Source: PTI
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