June retail inflation hits 5-month peak of 5%, industrial growth slows

Double whammy for economy as retail inflation touches 5-month high, factory output slows

Retail inflation rose to 5 per cent in June, a five-month high despite easing food prices, government data showed on Thursday.

Inflation for the month of June keeps the chances alive of a further rate hike in the month August, according to economists.

Consumer food price inflation, a metric to gauge changes in monthly kitchen costs, growth slowed to 2.91 percent in June from 3.10 percent in May, but still increased from (-) 2.12 percent in June 2017. June was the eighth straight month in which inflation exceeded the Reserve Bank of India's target of 4%. The forecasts ranged from 4.60 percent to 6.00 percent.

Indranil Pan, group economist of IDFC Bank, said rupee depreciation was likely to push up prices of inputs for manufacturers, which would be reflected in higher retail prices, and the central bank would be guided by inflationary concerns. Fed officials expect to raise short-term rates twice more this year. This has pushed up prices of imported items ranging from petroleum products, commodities, electronic and engineering items.

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Americans hate paying higher prices. In 2018, retail prices of petrol have climbed 9.4 percent and diesel by 14.3 percent in the capital, Delhi.

Global oil prices, which have risen more than 20 per cent this year and almost 13 per cent in June, was a major factor behind higher inflation in recent few months as it is India's costliest import.

Prices of vegetables grew 7.8 percent in June, as compared with 8.04 percent in April, while fruits' prices rose 10.13 percent in June from 12.33 percent a month ago. The central bank is eager to prevent higher spending, tax cuts and the burgeoning trade war from driving prices to unsustainable highs.

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