India's August retail inflation rises to 3.21%

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Retail inflation inches up to 3.21% in August; factory output at 4.3% in July

Consumer Price Index-based retail inflation reached 3.21 per cent in August, as opposed to 3.15 per cent in the previous month, showed government data released on Thursday. This is the highest level recorded in the past ten months since October 2018.

On the retail inflation side, food inflation quickened to 2.99% in August from 2.36% a month ago on the back of rising prices of meat and fish, vegetables and pulses.

Prices in food and beverages category increased by 2.96 per cent during the month under review, whereas clothing and footwear prices increased by 1.23 per cent.

The August data released by the National Statistics Office in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation also provided details of inflation in segments like "health", "recreation and amusement" and "personal care and effects".

Inflation in the food basket was 2.99%, up from 2.36% in July.

A retail inflation figure of 3.21% indicates that prices were that much higher this August as compared to August 2018. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tracks consumer inflation primarily while formulating its monetary policy.

The RBI has projected India's gross domestic product growth for 2019-20 at 6.9%-in the range of 5.8-6.6% for the first half of 2019-20 and 7.3-7.5% for the second half.

Capital goods segment, which is a barometer of investment, saw a contraction of 7.1 percent in July compared to 2.3 percent rise a year ago.

In another set of data released by the government, industrial output growth slipped to 4.3 per cent in July this year from 6.5 per cent in the same period last year, mainly on account of poor show by the manufacturing sector. The central bank, which has already reduced the key policy rate four times in the current calendar year, is scheduled to announce its next bi-monthly monetary policy on October 4.

Annual core CPI in August rose to 2.4% vs. 2.3% expected
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