Consumer prices moved much as expected in November. At 5.41 percent, the annual inflation rate was up for a fourth consecutive month and 0.4 percentage points above its mark in October.
The headline increase was roughly evenly spread between the rural and urban sectors with the former climbing from 4.28 percent to 4.71 percent and the latter up from 5.54 percent at 5.95 percent. Food inflation jumped more than 0.8 percentage points to 6.07 percent while clothing and footwear weighed in at 5.76 percent, housing at 4.95 percent and fuel and light at 5.28 percent.
Although there were no real surprises in today's report, the acceleration in prices last month should help to ensure that RBI easing expectations for next year remain relatively limited.
Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) measure changes over time in general level of prices of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption. The data are released for previous month and are not seasonally adjusted.
CPI numbers are widely used as a macroeconomic indicator of inflation, as a tool by governments and central banks for inflation targeting and for monitoring price stability, and as deflators in the national accounts. CPI is also used for indexing dearness allowance to employees for increase in prices. CPI is therefore considered as one of the most important economic indicators.
CPI numbers presently compiled and released at national level for India reflect the fluctuations in retail prices pertaining to specific segments of population in the country -- industrial workers, agricultural labourers and rural labourers. These indexes do not encompass all the segments of the population in the country and as such do not reflect true picture of the price behavior in the country. To overcome the above, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has started compiling new series of CPI for the entire urban population or CPI (Urban) and CPI for the entire rural population or CPI (Rural), which reflect the changes in the price levels of various goods and services consumed by the urban and rural population.
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