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Retail inflation eases to 4.75 % in May, downward trend continues

New Delhi: India's annual retail inflation eased to 4.75 per cent in May from 4.83 per cent in April, government data showed on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers for May 2024, reporting a year-on-year inflation rate of 4.75 per cent (Provisional) for the country.

According to the data, this figure is a slight decline from the 4.83 per cent recorded in April 2024 and is notably lower than the 4.31 per cent reported in May 2023.

The data indicates differentiated inflation rates for rural and urban areas, with rural inflation at 5.28 per cent and urban inflation at 4.15 per cent.

These numbers reflect a continued trend of controlled inflation in urban areas while rural regions experience a higher rate of price increases.

The overall CPI inflation for India in May 2024 is the lowest for the month of May in the past year, showcasing the government's success in keeping inflation under control.

Since September 2023, India has maintained an inflation rate below 6 per cent, underscoring the effectiveness of economic policies and regulatory measures.

This stability is a significant achievement, especially in light of global economic uncertainties and pressures.

Notably, certain consumer categories have seen changes in their inflation rates. The 'Spices' category experienced a considerable decline in inflation compared to April 2024, indicating a reduction in price pressures for these items, read the press release.

Additionally, key consumer segments such as 'Clothing & Footwear', 'Housing', and 'Miscellaneous' have also seen a decrease in inflation rates, contributing to the overall moderation in price increases.

This trend suggests a broader stabilization of prices across various essential goods and services.

The year-on-year inflation for the Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) was higher than the general CPI, at 8.69 per cent for May 2024.

This figure highlights significant increases in food prices, with rural CFPI at 8.62 per cent and urban CFPI at 8.83 per cent. The higher inflation in food prices, particularly in urban areas, indicates that consumers are facing a substantial burden in terms of food costs.

This disparity between general and food inflation underscores the importance of targeted policy interventions to address the rising cost of essential food items.

Month-on-month changes in the CPI index also reflect minor increases. The CPI General index saw a rise of 0.48 per cent from April to May 2024, with the rural index increasing by 0.42 per cent and the urban index by 0.49 per cent, read the press release.

The CFPI index, focusing on food prices, rose by 0.73 per cent during the same period, with rural and urban indices increasing by 0.69 per cent and 0.87 per cent respectively.

These monthly changes indicate ongoing adjustments in the market, reflecting both seasonal and economic factors influencing price dynamics.

The CPI data collection process involved field operations, covering 1114 urban markets and 1181 villages across the country. MoSPI reported a 100 per cent data collection rate in villages and a 98.5 per cent rate in urban markets for May 2024.

The comprehensive coverage and high accuracy rates underscore the reliability of the reported CPI numbers, ensuring that they accurately reflect the price changes experienced by consumers across different regions of India.

Looking ahead, the next CPI release for June 2024 is scheduled for July 12, 2024. This upcoming report will provide further insights into the inflationary trends and economic conditions in India. 

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