Inflation based on Consumer Price Index, or retail inflation, for the month of February rose to 5.03% owing to increase in prices of food and fuel, government data showed on Friday. Inflation, which is an indicator of price rise, went northwards after easing for three consecutive months since November. Retail inflation for January was at 4.06%.

Food inflation in February rose to 3.87%, nearly twice as compared to 1.96% in January as major items like meat and fish (11.34%), egg (11.13%), oils and fats (20.78%) and pulses (12.54%) witnessed double-digit inflation, the data showed. Vegetables, meanwhile, saw a negative inflation of 6.27%.

Amid uproar on rising prices of petrol and diesel, the “fuel and light” component of retail inflation rose by 3.53% in February, according to the data.

However, despite the rise in inflation, the number is still within the Reserve Bank of India’s mandated range of 4 (+/-2)%.

January IIP contracts 1.6%

Meanwhile, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted 1.6% in January, another set of data released by the government showed. The factory output data also comes as a setback as it had turned positive for the first time in December 2020 (1.9%), since the nationwide lockdown in March last year, that disrupted economic activities.

The manufacturing sector output contracted by 2% in January, while the mining output declined by 3.7%. Meanwhile, power generation grew by 5.5% in January.