Inflation moderates to 3-year-low at 6.62%
Inflation levels in case of food and primary articles continued to stay at elevated levels, at 11.88 per cent and 10.31 per cent respectively, while fuel inflation rose 7.06 per cent on an annual basis in January, up from December’s 9.38 per cent.
Manufacturing goods inflation dropped to 4.81 per cent from 5.04 per cent in January. Non-food manufactured inflation eased to 4.1 per cent during the month from 4.2 per cent in December.
Commenting on the inflation numbers, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), C Rangarajan, said price levels would further decline to 6.5 per cent by March end but asked the government to release more food stock to ease price situation. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said, “Inflation is still above the comfort level and it should come down further.”
Easing of inflation would provide the much-needed headroom for the RBI to lower policy rates going ahead. The RBI had projected March end inflation to be 6.8 per cent. Although, it is still above RBI’s comfort zone of 5-6 per cent, analysts said the decline in the January headline inflation and subdued growth in industrial output could prompt a
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