New Delhi [India], Jan 14 (ANI): In a major relief to consumers, India's retail inflation rate showed a downward trend, touching an 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December 2018 on account of moderation in the prices of fuel, fruits and vegetables.
In November last year, the inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.33 per cent as compared to 5.21 per cent a year ago in December 2017. In June 2017, inflation was as low as 1.46 per cent.
The contraction in inflationary pressure raises hope for a cut in the lending rate by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during the monetary policy review meeting, scheduled to take place next month.
Taking to his Twitter handle, Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said: "Big Relief For Consumers: Under the leadership of PM @NarendraModi and FM @ArunJaitley, consumer inflation fell to a low of 2.19%, demonstrating the Govt's commitment to ease the life for the common man."
According to Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the annual rate of inflation, based on monthly wholesale price index (WPI) stood at 3.80 per cent (provisional) for December 2018 (over December 2017) as compared to 4.64 per cent.
"The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 3.80 per cent (provisional) for the month of December, 2018 (over December, 2017) as compared to 4.64 per cent (provisional) for the previous month and 3.58 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year," said the ministry in a statement.
"Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 3.27 per cent as compared to a build-up rate of 2.21 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year," added the ministry.
The WPI for 'food articles' group declined by 1.4 per cent to 144.0 (provisional) from 146.1 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of fruits and vegetables (8 pc), peas/chawali (7 pc), condiments and spices (2 pc) and paddy (1 pc).
The index for 'non-food articles' group declined by 0.1 per cent to 124.5 (provisional) from 124.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of guar seed (6 per cent), raw cotton and castor seed (3 per cent each), groundnut seed (2 per cent) and raw rubber, rape, mustard seed and raw silk (1 pc each).
According to official details, the WPI for fuel and power group also declined by 5.9 per cent to 103.5 (provisional) from 110.0 (provisional) for the previous month, while the index for manufactured products declined by 0.4 per cent to 118.3 (provisional) from 118.8 (provisional) for the previous month.
The ministry said, "The annual rate of inflation based on final index stood at 5.54 per cent as compared to 5.28 per cent (provisional) respectively as reported on November 14, 2018." (ANI)