Consumer inflation picked up to 2.92 per cent in April as against 2.86 per cent in the previous month, government data showed on Monday. That meant the consumer inflation - or the rate of increase in consumer prices - remained below the Reserve Bank of India's medium-term target of 4 per cent for the ninth month in a row. Retail inflation is determined by Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Retail inflation was lower than 2.97 per cent expected by more than 40 economists in a poll by news agency Reuters.
Food inflation accelerated to 1.10 per cent last month, from 0.30 per cent in March this year, according to the Ministry of Statistics statement.
Monday's data fuelled hopes of monetary easing by the central bank going forward.
"Food inflation continued to rise with sustained upward momentum in fruits and vegetables. We expect this trend to continue over the summer months," said B Prasanna, group head, global markets-sales, trading and research, ICICI Bank.
The RBI, which tracks consumer inflation primarily to formulate its monetary policy, last month decided to reduce the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6 per cent - a level last seen in May 2018.
Separate data last Friday showed that industrial production contracted 0.1 per cent in March. Gauged by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), factory output grew at 3.6 per cent in financial year 2018-19, official data showed.
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