Retail inflation rose marginally to 2.92 per cent in April after touching a five-month high of 2.86 per cent in March, helped by the prices of food and health services. A Reuter’s poll of over 40 economists had predicted consumer price inflation to have picked up to 2.97 percent from March’s 2.86 percent. This is the ninth straight month where inflation has remained below the RBI’s medium term target of 4 per cent. RBI in its first bi-monthly monetary policy for 2019-20 said the inflation path during 2019-20 is likely to be shaped by several factors. First, low food inflation during January-February will have a bearing on the near-term inflation outlook. Second, the fall in the fuel group inflation witnessed at the time of the February policy has become accentuated. “Taking into consideration these factors and assuming a normal monsoon in 2019, the path of CPI inflation is revised downwards to 2.4 per cent in Q4:2018-19, 2.9-3.0 per cent in H1:2019-20 and 3.5-3.8 per cent in H2:2019-20, with risks broadly balanced,” the RBI said. In its previous policy outcome in February, the RBI had projected retail inflation between 3.2-3.4 per cent for the first half of 2019-20.
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