Inflation drops for 16th consecutive month to 11.61%

The previous high in retail inflation was in January this year at 5.7 per cent

The RBI in its bid to tighten inflation, increased repo rate last week, for the first time in more than four years.

Headline inflation surging to a four-month high of 4.87 per cent in May is likely to force the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hike rates once again at its August monetary policy review, analysts said.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI), a separate measure on inflation, was 3.3 per cent last month, down from 3.4 per cent in April.

Ruth Gregory, senior United Kingdom economist at Capital Economics said oil prices are expected to fall later this year and overall "the inflation figures have not altered our view that the [Bank of England's] MPC will probably press ahead and raise interest rates in August".

Despite the decline in Consumer Price Index (CPI) the 16th consecutive time since January 2017, composite food price index maintained a significant increase for the month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in its latest report for May 2018.

The measure of price changes in the economy, which helps to guide the decisions of interest rate setters at the Bank of England (BoE), did not rise in May compared to April.

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This, it noted was down by 0.2 per cent from the rate recorded in April, which was 10.9 per cent.

The report shows inflation increased by 11.6% (year-on-year) in May 2018 which is 0.87% less than the recorded rate in April, 2018 (12.48%).

However, the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending May, 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 11.83%, which is a reduction of 0.19% from that of April.

The rise in the index was attributed to increases in prices of some staple food items like potatoes, yam and other tubers, vegetables, fish, bread and cereals, fruits and meat. The rural inflation rate also dropped by 11.20% in May 2018, from 12.13% in the previous month of April 2018.

On month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.10 percent in May 2018, up by 0.25from 0.85 percent recorded April, while the rural index also rose by 1.08 percent in May 2018, up by 0.26 percent from the rate recorded in April (0.82) percent.

Separately, the industrial output grew 4.9 percent in April from a year earlier, compared with economists forecast of 5.2 percent, government data showed. Yobe State (13.68%) and Jigawa State (13.62%) followed in that order, while Kwara State (8.87%) recorded the slowest rise in price during the period.

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