Retail inflation in India rose to 7.79 percent in April, owing primarily to increased fuel and food costs, according to official statistics released on Thursday. For the fourth month in a row, consumer price inflation remained significantly above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) upper tolerance range.
In April, CPI inflation rose at its fastest rate in eight years. The previous high was 8.33 percent in May of 2014.
The April figure was higher than the March figure of 6.95 percent and the year-ago figure of 4.23 percent.
Food basket inflation increased to 8.38 percent in April, up from 7.68 percent the previous month.
Food inflation, which accounts for over half of the CPI basket, reached a multi-month high in April and is expected to continue strong due to increasing vegetable and cooking oil costs internationally.
The rate of price growth in the ‘fuel and light’ category of the retail inflation basket increased to 10.80% in April this year, up from 7.52 percent the previous month.
In the ‘oils and fats’ category, inflation remained high in April at 17.28%, as Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest producers of sunflower oil, and India imports a large amount of the commodity from the war-torn nation. Aside from that, Ukraine is a major provider of fertiliser to India.
Vegetable inflation was 15.41 percent in April, up from 11.64 percent in March.
When making its bi-monthly policy decision, the RBI primarily examines retail inflation.
The Reserve Bank has been obliged by the Centre to manage retail inflation between 2% and 6%.