Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, worsened to 7.59 per cent in January. The inflation remained above the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4 per cent for a fourth month in a row, dashing hopes of further monetary easing at a time when economic growth has fallen to the lowest in more than six years.
The inflation in January was higher than Reuters poll of 7.40 per cent.
Food inflation eased to 13.63 per cent in January from 14.19 per cent in December.
The RBI, which cut interest rates by a cumulative 135 basis points last year, is now expected to keep interest rates on hold until late this year, putting the onus on the government to boost the flagging economy.
In separate data released by the government, factory output measured by the Index of Industrial Production, contracted 0.3 per cent in December; this was worse than analysts’ estimates. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output to rise 1.8 per cent.