Retail inflation for February drops marginally to 6.44% as food prices ease

Retail inflation dipped marginally to 6.44 per cent in February, mainly on account of a slight easing in prices of food and fuel items, government data released on Monday showed. 

Inflation rate based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had stood at 6.52 per cent in January and 6.07 per cent in February 2022. 

Inflation rate for the food basket was 5.95 per cent in February, lower than 6 per cent in January. 

Except for November and December 2022, retail inflation has remained above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) upper tolerance level of 6 per cent since January 2022. 

The RBI has projected retail inflation at 6.5 per cent for 2022-23, with the January-December quarter at 5.7 per cent. 

The central bank has been mandated by the government to ensure that the retail inflation remains at 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on either side. 

To contain the rising prices, the RBI has hiked interest rates by 250 basis points since May last year. The latest rate hike of 25 basis points in February took the benchmark policy rate to 6.50 per cent.

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