Retail inflation for industrial workers dropped to 3.86% in May 2024, from 4.42% in the same month of the previous year, as per data released by the labour ministry. The Consumer Price Index-industrial workers (CPI-IW) stood at 3.87% in April 2024.

The CPI-IW for the food and beverages group increased to 145.2 points in May from 143.4 points in April, while the fuel and light segment decreased to 149.5 points in May from 152.8 points in April 2024. The pan, tobacco, and intoxicants group increased to 161.2 points in May 2024 from 161.1 in April 2024. The clothing and footwear group increased to 143.6 points in May 2024 from 143.2 in April 2024. The housing group remained unchanged at 128.4 points.

It highlighted that the year-on-year inflation for May 2024 eased to 3.86% compared to 4.42% in May 2023. Moreover, the all-India CPI-IW for May 2024 rose by 0.5 points to 139.9 points, up from 139.4 points in April 2024.

The Labour Bureau, part of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, compiles the CPI for industrial workers monthly based on retail prices collected from 317 markets across 88 key industrial centres in the country.

The CPI (IW) indices are mainly used for regulating Dearness allowance and wages of millions of workers and employees belonging to the Central Government, State Governments, and public and private sector establishments in the country. CPI-IW serves as an indicator of the retail price situation in the country. CPI-IW measures the average change in retail prices of a basket of commodities that an industrial worker generally consumes.

India's retail inflation fell to a 12-month low of 4.75% in May, slightly lower than April's 4.83%, as reported by government data. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, on June 12, confirmed that May's retail inflation rate was 4.75%, down from 4.83% in April. In its recent policy review, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its FY25 inflation forecast at 4.5% but warned that food prices might stay consistently high.

In April, the CPI inflation was 4.83%. This headline rate has remained below 5% for three consecutive months since March 2024. The notable reduction in the overall inflation rate was mainly due to a 3.83% decrease in the fuel and light category in May. Meanwhile, the inflation rate for food and beverages held steady at 7.87%, the same as in April.

"Year-on-year inflation rate based on the all-India Consumer Price Index (CPI) number is 4.75% (Provisional) for May 2024. Corresponding inflation rates for rural and urban areas are 5.28% and 4.15%, respectively," the data released by the government.

The spices category experienced a significant drop in year-on-year inflation in May 2024 compared to April 2024.

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