Milk, fruits, protein-food more expensive in March: CPI

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New Delhi, April 18: Certain food products like milk, protein-based items and fruits were substantially costlier in March than in the previous month, according to the Consumer Price Index data released today (April 18).

The almost two per cent rise in prices of certain food and beverages has marginally raised the country's overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) to 106 points in March from 105 points in February.

At all India level, the index for milk and milk products rose by 1.9 per cent to 109 points as compared to the previous month.

Similarly, indices for egg, fish and meat went up by 1.9 per cent to 108 points as compared to February, while fruits were up by 3.5 per cent at 119 points in March.

There was also a rise of over one per cent in retail prices of condiments and spices and pan and tobacco.

However, vegetables' prices fell by 6.6 per cent in the month under review to 99 points. Sugar also fell by 1.04 per cent to 95 points during the month under review.

Overall, the ''Food, beverages and tobacco'' segment of CPI remained steady at 106 points, same as in February.

While the CPI, according to new series, has increased to 106 in March this year from a base of 100 in 2010, the government will only be releasing the retail inflation figures from next year.

As per the data released by the government today, the General indices for rural and urban stood at 107 and 104 points, respectively.

In February, the General Indices for rural, urban and combined had stood at 107, 104 and 105 points, respectively,

Meanwhile, the January numbers have been maintained at the original estimates of 107 points for rural, 104 points for urban. The combined index in January was recorded at 106 points.

These consumer indices have been released for five major groups -- food, beverages and tobacco; fuel and light;housing; clothing, bedding and footwear; and miscellaneous items.

Besides, ''Food, beverages and tobacco'' was at 106 points in March, while ''Fuel and light'' was up marginally up at 107 points as against 106 in February.

''Clothing, bedding and footwear'' in the month under review stood at 110 points on an all-India basis, which is marginally up from 109 in the previous month.

The miscellaneous items were at 105 points on a countrywide basis in March, the same as in February.

The new CPI was introduced to reflect the actual movement of prices at the micro-level and help policy-makers like the RBI in better framing of decisions.

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