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India's Retail Inflation dips to 4.85 per cent in March

New Delhi: Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of March showed a notable cooling, registering at 4.85 per cent.

This marks a slight decline from the previous month's figure of 5.09 per cent, indicating a moderation in inflationary pressures across various sectors of the economy.

The latest data, released by National Statistical Office (NSO), under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), indicates that CPI inflation for March stood at 4.85 per cent, a marginal decrease from the 5.09 per cent recorded in February.

This suggests a more stable pricing environment, potentially offering relief to households grappling with rising costs of essential goods and services.

Delving deeper into the CPI components shows that food inflation played a significant role in driving the overall moderation.March witnessed a decrease in food inflation to 8.52 per cent, down from 8.66 percent in February.

This downward trend in food prices could alleviate some of the burden on consumers, especially in the wake of recent escalations.

While urban inflation decreased to 4.14 per cent in March from 4.78 percent in February, rural inflation saw a slight uptick.

Rural inflation inched up to 5.45 per cent compared to 4.34 percent in February.

This disparity between urban and rural inflation rates may reflect variations in consumption patterns and supply chain dynamics across different regions.

The moderation in CPI comes amid other positive economic indicators. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for March showed robust growth, expanding by 5.7 percent compared to 3.8 per cent in January 2024.

This uptick in industrial activity suggests underlying strength in the economy, potentially contributing to a more balanced inflation outlook.

Overall, the moderation in CPI inflation, particularly in food prices, coupled with strong industrial growth, paints a favourable picture of the economy's resilience amidst ongoing global uncertainties.

The latest inflation data comes a week after the RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on April 5 announced the decision to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at 6.5 percent for the seventh consecutive time.

RBI Governor had said that the CPI inflation projections for FY25 has been reduced to 4.5 per cent from earlier 4.7 per cent.

However, policymakers will continue to closely monitor inflationary trends to ensure stability and sustainable economic growth in the coming months. 

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