Retail Inflation for Industrial Workers Eases to 3.15% in January

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Retail inflation for industrial workers eased to 3.15 per cent in January against 7.49 per cent in the same month last year, mainly due to lower prices of certain food items. "Year-on-year inflation for the month (January) stood at 3.15 per cent compared to 3.67 per cent for the previous month (December 2020) and 7.49 per cent during the corresponding month (January 2020) of the previous year," the labour ministry said in a statement.

Food inflation stood at 2.38 per cent in January compared to 2.89 per cent in the previous month (December 2020) and 10.61 per cent during the corresponding month a year ago. The All-India CPI-IW(Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers) for January 2021 decreased by 0.6 points and stood at 118.2 points.

For one-month percentage change, it decreased by 0.51 with respect to the previous month, whereas no change was observed between the corresponding month a year ago, it said. The maximum downward pressure in the current index came from the food and beverages group, contributing 0.90 percentage points to the total change.

At the item level, rice, wheat Atta, arhar dal, poultry (chicken), eggs-Hen, banana, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, chillies green, garlic, ginger, onion, peas, potato, tomato, employee state insurance contribution, etc are responsible for the decline in the index. However, it said this decline was checked by housing and fuel & light groups with a contribution of 0.29 and 0.22 points, respectively, with items like house rent, cooking gas, petrol, etc putting upward pressure on the index.

At the centre level, Jalpaiguri recorded the maximum decrease of 6.0 points, followed by Biswanath-Chariali with 4.5 points. Among others, between 3.0 to 3.7 points decline was observed in 5 centres, 2.2 to 2.9 points in 9 centres, 1.2 to 1.9 points in 12 centres and 0.1 to 0.9 points in 33 centres.

On the contrary, Coonoor recorded a maximum increase of 2.7 points. Among others, a 1.0 to 1.6 points rise was observed in 7 centres and 0.1 to 0.8 points in 17 centres. The rest of the 2 centres' indices remained stationary. The Labour Bureau has been compiling the Consumer Price Index for industrial workers every month on the basis of retail prices collected from 317 markets, spread over 88 industrially important centres in the country.

The index is compiled for 88 centres and All-India and is released on the last working day of the succeeding month. The CPI-IW is the single-most-important price statistics that have financial implications.

It is primarily used to regulate the dearness allowance of government employees and workers in industrial sectors. It is also used in the fixation and revision of minimum wages in scheduled employments besides measuring the inflation in retail prices. Labour Minister Satish Gangwar said, "The fall in inflation reported during January 2021 is mainly due to fall in prices of vegetables observed on account of abundant supply in the markets. The fall in inflation would imply more purchasing power in the hands of Working-class families".

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