Food inflation crosses 9% in May, data on snacks and sweets held back

Topics food inflation | NSO | Lockdown

Within food inflation, NSO did not release the index numbers for prepared meals, snacks, sweats segment
Retail food inflation touched 9.28 per cent in May, showed the official data released on Friday with a caveat that the authorities could not collect data points from all the designated shops and factories, and for all the segments. It stood at 9.69 per cent in rural areas, while 8.36 per cent in urban.

The National Statistical Office had not released food inflation for April, and hence it is difficult to compare the data.  However, the fall in the food and tobacco index in May to 151.3 points, from 151.4 points in April suggested that food inflation might have been quite high in April, too, though samples could not be taken from all the markets.

“The food inflation has surged to 9.28 per cent (year-on-year), much higher than market expectations. Due to the lockdown, there is a supply-side shock,” said Rahul Gupta at Emkay Global Financial Services. 

For the second month in a row, the NSO did not release the headline inflation number.

Within food inflation, the NSO did not release the index numbers for the prepared meal, snacks, and sweet segments. Besides the data for the food index, the statistical office released index numbers for only the health, fuel and light, and housing segments.

The NSO said the data was collected through personal visits by its field staff and telephone calls to the designated outlets in select markets in May. The office could collect data points from 987 urban markets and 836 villages for the month. It usually collects data from 1,114 urban markets and 1,181 villages.

The index for housing stood intact at 155.6 points in May and April. Fuel and light saw the index coming down from 144.1 points in April to 142.3 in May.

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