Retail inflation jumps to 5-month high in December

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NEW DELHI: Retail inflation jumped to a five-month high in December on the back of higher food, beverages, clothing, footwear, fuel and light prices and posed a fresh challenge for policymakers against the backdrop of a third wave of Covid. Data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Wednesday showed inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), rose an annual 5. 6% in December, up from November’s 4. 9%. Rural inflation was at 5. 4%, a shade lower than the 5. 8% in urban areas.

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Separate data released by the NSO showed industrial output growth slowed to a nine-month low of 1. 4% in November, slower than the upwardly revised 4% recorded in October, led by a sluggish manufacturing sector and contraction in capital goods and consumer durables segments. The sector had shown signs of reviving after the lifting of curbs but the ongoing third wave is likely to…

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