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India’s consumer price inflation rose marginally to 2.92% on YoY in April 2019, stays below RBI’s benchmark at 4%. Inflation has increased by 1.87% and 4.1% in rural and urban areas respectively. Among the CPI components, food and beverages inflation increased to 1.38% in April from 0.66% in March 2019. Within food items, the inflation for meat and fish has increased to 7.55% and vegetables 2.87%, whereas inflation for fruits has declined to 4.89% in April 2019.The inflation for housing fell to 4.7%, while for miscellaneous, transport and communication items fell to 5.1% and 2.2% respectively in April 2019. The core inflation has been declined to 4.5% in April from 5.1% in March 2019. This reflects slowdown in consumer demand.
Given the lower inflation and slowdown in industrial production, market seems to believe that the lower growth has created room for RBI to cut the rates further when Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets in June, 2019 for the policy review. The Central bank has cut the key policy rate by 25bps each in it last two policy reviews. However, oil prices at international market, fiscal situation of the economy and monsoon strength are going to pose challenge to MPC when they meet for the policy review.