India's retail inflation jumped to 7.35% in December 2019, primarily on the back of rising food prices and increased telecom tariffs, according to official data released on Monday evening.
Meanwhile, potato inflation went up to over 37 percent in December from 2.3 percent in November 2019.
As per the government data, the food inflation rose to 14.12% in December as against (-) 2.65% in the same month of 2018. That marked the third month a row in which consumer inflation - or the rate of increase in consumer prices - remained above the Reserve Bank of India's medium-term target of 4 per cent, dashing hopes of further monetary easing at a time when economic growth has fallen to lowest in more than six years.
November's retail inflation of 5.54% was reportedly the highest in 40 months.
The median forecast in the Reuters poll of almost 50 economists predicted India's annual consumer inflation rose to 6.2% in December from November's 5.54%. The rising vegetable prices can also be seen as a key reason behind the jump in the retail inflation.
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In November 2019, retail inflation was recorded at 5.54%, up from 4.62% in October.
Soaring onion prices have contributed to the spike in food inflation. In July 2016, retail inflation was at 6.07%. Core Inflation came in at 3.7 per cent. 3.
RBI's next monetary policy review is scheduled for 6 February, a few days after the government presents the Union Budget in the parliament for the financial year 2020-21.
"The headline CPI number of 7.35% y/y in December 19 was slightly above our expectation in the vicinity of 7%, owing to higher inflation in food and transport & communication".