India’s retail inflation shot up to a six-month high of 6.3 per cent in May, after easing to a three-month low of 4.23 per cent in April. Inflation, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), has breached the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) target range for the first time after five months. The RBI is mandated to maintain the crucial number at 4 per cent in the medium term, with a 2 percentage point margin on either side as part of its inflation target.
National Statistical Office data for retail inflation showed food inflation shot up to 5% in May from 2% in April as prices of protein items such as meat, fish, eggs, oils and fats accelerated. The fuel bill also went up 11.6% as the government increased retail prices of petrol and diesel after state election results on 2 May. Services inflation jumped as costs of health, transport and personal care rose during the second wave of the pandemic.