Retail inflation shoots up to 6.95% in March 2022

According to the National Statistics Office, industrial production increased by 1.7% in February 2022

According to the National Statistics Office, industrial production increased by 1.7% in February 2022

Retail inflation rose to 6.95% in March 2022, the third consecutive month above the 6% mark, with food price inflation rising to 7.68% from 5.85% in February.

Consumers in rural India faced higher inflation than urban residents, with headline rural inflation rising 7.66% and the rural food price index rising 8% to 8.04% in March, from 5.81% in February.

Among the states, West Bengal recorded the highest retail inflation at 8.85%, while Uttar Pradesh and Assam recorded 8.19% inflation, followed by Madhya Pradesh (7.89%), Telangana (7.66%) and Maharashtra (7.62%).

The inflation rate ranged from 7.4% to 7.6% for several regions including Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

The retail inflation rate of 6.95% in March is the highest in 17 months, mainly due to these spikes and as producers pass higher commodity prices and input costs on to consumers. Fuel and light inflation was 7.52% in March, while transportation and communications reached 8%. Healthcare costs, household goods and services, and personal care and effects saw escalating inflation of 6.99%, 7.67%, and 8.71%, respectively.

Industrial production rose by 1.7% in February 2022, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, slightly above the revised estimate of 1.46% in January, although manufacturing output fell to just 0.3% in the month, from 1.3% .8% further slowed in February.

February figures come from a low base from February 2021, when industrial production contracted 3.2%. Manufacturing was down 3.4% in the same month a year ago. Mining production increased by 4.5% in February 2022, after a 4.4% decline in February 2021, while power generation grew by 4.5%, compared with a 0.1% increase last year.

While food and beverage inflation hit 7.47% in March, oils and fats remained stable at 18.8%, vegetable inflation exceeded 11.6%, while meat and fish prices rose 9.63% last month. Clothing and footwear inflation reached 9.4%, with footwear alone reaching nearly 11.3%.

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