Costlier vegetables, fruits and milk pushed up retail inflation to three-month high of 8.59% in April, squeezing the space for the Reserve Bank to ease interest rates in the monetary policy review in June. The retail inflation, measured on consumer price index (CPI), was 8.31% in March.
As per the data released by the government, food inflation increased to 9.66% against 9.1% in March.
Vegetables were costlier by 17.5% in April as against 16.8% in the previous month. The rate of price rise in fruits was 21.73% as against 17.19% in March. Inflation in milk was 11.42% in April as against 11.02% in the previous month.
Meanwhile, Amul and Mother Dairy, the two major milk suppliers in Delhi have increased prices by Rs 2 a litre. The price rise in protein-rich items like egg, meat and fish was 9.41%, while cereals and pulses became costlier by 9.67% and 5.05% respectively.
Amid industry clamouring for cut in interest rate, the Reserve Bank had chosen to keep the policy rate (repo) unchanged at 8% in its April monetary policy review as retail inflation was "sticky". The RBI is scheduled to announce its next monetary policy review on June 1.
As per the data, the corresponding provisional inflation rates for rural and urban areas for April 2014 are 9.25% and 7.69%, respectively. The government will release inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) on May 14.