A decline in food prices and lower crude costs aided the fall of consumer price inflation (CPI) to its lowest in 17 months for the month of November. CPI or retail inflation stood at 2.33 percent in the last month compared to 3.31 percent in October, as per the official data released by the government on Wednesday. Inflation has been at its lowest since June 2017.
CPI food inflation fell further by 2.61 percent in November. It contracted 0.86 percent in the month before. Fuel and light inflation lowered to 7.39 percent from 8.55 percent in October.
Housing inflation lowered to 5.99 percent from 6.55 percent in October. Clothing and footwear inflation stood at 3.53 percent down from 3.55 percent in the previous month. In the households goods and services segment, it was at 5.80 percent as against 6.06 percent in October. In the transport and communication segment, it stood at 6.09 percent.
Rural inflation was at 1.71 percent, which is notably lower than urban inflation of 3.12 percent, showing signs of distress. Lower food prices in rural India is good for consumers but hurts the farmers' income.
Meanwhile, inflation has remained lower than RBI's estimates in the past few months. RBI is now expecting inflation levels to range between 2.7 to 3.2 percent for the second half of the year, which is within the target of 4 (+/-2) percent set by the Monetary Policy Committee.