The Centre on Tuesday revised the consumer price inflation to a final 5.84% for March, from the provisional 5.91% it had announced in April. However, it did not announce the rate of consumer price inflation in April.

Economists had expected the government to release a provisional retail inflation figure for April. A poll of 40 economists by Reuters showed that retail inflation was expected to be at a provisional 5.68% last month, a five-month low.

In its press release on Tuesday, the Centre said that retail food prices grew at 8.76% in March – 8.88% in rural areas and 8.59% in urban areas.

The Centre also said the price collection through personal visits was suspended with effect from March 19 “in view of the preventive measures and announcement of nationwide lockdown by the government to contain spread of Covid-19 pandemic”. In April, data was largely collected by telephone, the National Statistical Office said.

The Centre said that due to the limited number of market transactions in April following the nationwide lockdown, it decided to release only the price movement of subgroups within the basket of retail goods and services.

Accordingly, the price movement for subgroups ‘meat and fish’ and ‘prepared meals, snacks, sweets etc’ under ‘food and beverages’ group as well as the groups ‘pan, tobacco and intoxicants’ group, ‘clothing and footwear Group’ were not compiled,” the press release said.

The nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus has been extended till May 17. So far, India has recorded 70,756 cases, including 2,293 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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