India's retail inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded 4.91 percent in the month of November 2021 as compared to 6.93 percent reported in the year-ago period, showed data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) on Monday.
The CPI inflation, according to the CNBC-TV18 poll, was expected to be at 5.05 percent in November. The CPI-based inflation in September 2021 was at 4.35 percent and in October 2021 it was 4.48 percent.
Food inflation picked up to 1.87 percent in November from 0.85 percent a month ago with a rise in prices of vegetables. Clothing and footwear inflation was 7.94 percent in November, from 7.39 per cent in October.
Housing Inflation was at 3.66 percent in November this year compared to 3.54 percent in the preceding month. Fuel & light inflation came in at 13.35% compared to 14.35% seen in October.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had kept the key interest rate unchanged in its monetary policy review in December. It focuses mainly on the CPI while deciding its bi-monthly monetary policy.
The RBI has projected the CPI inflation at 5.3 percent during 2021-22 -- 5.1 percent in the third quarter and 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of the fiscal, with risks, broadly balanced. CPI inflation for Q1 2022-23 is projected at 5 percent.
DK Joshi, senior director and chief economist at CRISIL said, "I am somewhat surprised by the 4.91 percent number. We were expecting a tad above 5 percent. However, this is in line with what the RBI survey was showing. So I think inflation is on track for 5.3 percent average for the year."
Abhishek Upadhyay, senior economist at ICICI Sec PD said, "We were expecting inflation to be much higher at 5.3 percent, so this is a pleasant surprise. It appears that the sequential increase in the vegetable index has been lower than what we anticipated. We had assumed a 12 percent jump and that has come at 7 percent."
Upasna Bhardwaj, senior economist at Kotak Mahindra Bank said she was expecting inflation to be at 5.06 percent and it was marginally lower than what I thought, "The core inflation we were expecting 6.1 percent and that is where it is. The fact that core inflation is expected to remain elevated and sticky will continue to remain a sore point going ahead."