India’s retail inflation inched lower to 7.01% in June, from May’s 7.04%, but stayed stuck above the 7% mark for the third straight month. Price gains also exceeded the RBI’s upper tolerance limit of 6% for the sixth month.
Rural inflation edged up to 7.09%, from 7.08% in May, while urban consumers faced a 6.92% price rise, as per the Consumer Price Index released on Tuesday. Food price inflation, as per the Consumer Food Price Index, eased to 7.75%, from 7.97%, but remained above 8% in urban areas, at 8.04%.
Higher costs for cereals, and vegetables such as tomatoes, as well as milk and meat, clothing and footwear and services, were balanced out by slower price gains in edible oils and fuel, following excise and import duty cuts.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasised the need to keep a constant vigil on prices and sustain growth impulses. “As the Reserve Bank has estimated, till the start of the second half... the central bank and the government will have to be extremely mindful and watchful of price movements. I will keep monitoring (inflation) item by item, to rein in prices for anything that goes haywire,” she said.