India’s consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation eased to 5.6 per cent from 6.4 per cent in February, government data showed today.
The CPI tracks the change in retail prices of goods and services which households purchase for their daily use.
The RBI has the mandate of keeping inflation at 4 per cent, with a margin of 2 per cent on either side.
The retail inflation rate in February, while falling marginally, had remained above RBI’s upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent for a second consecutive month.
The retail inflation data for March comes less than a week after the RBI surprised markets and analysts by retaining its key lending rate or the repo rate at 6.50 per cent.
“It is a pause, not a pivot,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said at a media conference after the monetary policy announcement, adding that it could consider further rate hikes if necessary.
The RBI has hiked the repo rate by 250 basis points since May last year to control the rising prices.
Although the central bank had projected retail inflation to ease to 5.2 per cent in the current fiscal in its monetary policy statement, the RBI governor said the inflation outlook remains dynamic amid the recent rise in crude oil prices.