India’s retail inflation rises to 7% after sharp increase in food prices


India’s retail inflation rose to 7 per cent in August from 6.71 per cent in the previous month due to a sharp rise in food prices, as per the government data released on Monday.

Retail inflation has been above the Reserve Bank of India’s tolerance band for the eighth consecutive month. With the headline inflation coming above 6 per cent for the eighth month in a row, the RBI is on a brink of failing to meet its inflation mandate.

The RBI is mandated to keep inflation in a range of 2-6 per cent. The RBI is deemed to have failed in its mandate if the average inflation remains outside the 2-6 per cent band for three consecutive quarters.

Retail food inflation surged to 7.62 per cent in August as against 6.75 per cent recorded in the previous month. There was a sharp jump in vegetable prices. Inflation in vegetables soared to 13.23 per cent in August.

In August, the price rise was sharper in rural areas than the urban areas. Rural inflation surged to 7.15 per cent in August from 6.8 per cent in the previous month.

Urban inflation jumped to 6.72 per cent in August from 6.49 per cent in July 2022, as per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

The Price data are collected from selected 1114 urban markets and 1181 villages covering all States/UTs through personal visits by field staff of the Field Operations Division of NSO, MoSPI on a weekly roster.

During the month of August 2022, NSO collected prices from 99.9 per cent villages and 98.4 per cent urban markets while the market-wise prices reported therein were 89.6 per cent for rural and 92.8 per cent for urban.