A Reuters poll of 25 analysts had expected retail inflation in December at 5.4 per cent.
However, in some positive news for the economy industrial output bounced back in November with a growth of 3.8 per cent compared to the same period last year, led by a rebound in the capital goods sector. October factory growth had contracted to 4.2 per cent.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected year-on-year factory growth of 2.2 per cent in November.
Wholesale price inflation, which was flat in November, is expected to have picked up to 0.6 per cent last month, according to the Reuters poll. The WPI data is due to be released on Wednesday.
Inflation has rapidly cooled in India following a spectacular drop in global crude oil prices, softer food costs and favourable base effects from previous reporting periods.
And though inflation trends are crucial to any decision to lower rates, the RBI would also want to take into account whether Mr Jaitley resists temptation to row back on targets to reduce the fiscal deficit.
(With Reuters inputs)