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Inflation Rate in India 2024: A closer look at economic trends

Stay informed about the latest trends and developments regarding inflation rates in India in 2024

Published: Apr 3, 2024 09:15:29 AM IST
Updated: Apr 3, 2024 05:52:53 PM IST

Inflation Rate in India 2024: A closer look at economic trends

Inflation, or a rise in the general price level of goods and services, has long been a subject of concern and debate around the world. It affects everything from the cost of groceries and housing to the economy's overall health. As the nation gears up for the upcoming general elections, it becomes crucial to delve into inflation in India to better understand the country's economic situation.

This article aims to provide insights into the Indian inflation rate in 2024 and its implications.

India's current inflation rate

According to the data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), India’s retail inflation rate dropped to 5.09 percent in February 2024, the lowest in four months. The retail inflation rate registered a slight drop of 0.01 percent in one month, as it stood at 5.10 percent in January 2024. The current inflation remains in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tolerance band, which is set at 2 to 6 percent.

The inflation rate in the rural areas, at 5.34 percent, remains 0.56 percent higher than the urban areas (4.78 percent), as inflation in the rural areas stood at 4.34 percent in December. The food inflation in February stood at 8.66 percent, a rise from 8.3 percent previous month.

Also Read: What is repo rate, current repo rate, and history of RBI repo rates in India (2000 to 2023)

India Inflation Rate (CPI) - Historical Data

Year Average Inflation Rate Annual Change
2024 5.09 (February)
2023 5.49
2022 6.7% 1.57%
2021 5.13% -1.49%
2020 6.62% 2.89%
2019 3.73% -0.21%
2018 3.94% 0.61%
2017 3.33% -1.62%
2016 4.95% 0.04%
2015 4.91% -1.76%
2014 6.67% -3.35%
2013 10.02% 0.54%

Also Read: Fiscal deficit: Meaning, history in India, causes, current deficit and more

What is CPI?

The Consumer Price Index measures changes in the average price level of goods and services purchased by households over time. It is used to measure inflation and indicates the cost of living for consumers. CPI is calculated by selecting a basket of goods and services that represent typical consumer purchases and tracking the changes in their prices over time. The index is often used to adjust wages, pensions, and government benefits to account for changes in purchasing power.

Also Read: US inflation rate by year: 2012 to 2023

What is WPI?

The Wholesale Price Index measures changes in the average price level of goods traded in bulk or at the wholesale level. It is primarily used as an indicator of inflation in the production and distribution stages of the economy. WPI tracks the price changes of goods before they reach the retail level and includes commodities such as raw materials, intermediate goods, and finished goods. It is often used by policymakers, businesses, and analysts to monitor inflationary pressures within the economy and make decisions based on the price trends in the wholesale market.

Also Read: GDP of India: Current and historical growth rate, India's rank in the world

How is inflation calculated?

Calculating the inflation rate involves the use of a formula:

((B - A) / A) x 100

where A represents the initial value, and B represents the final value.

To use this formula, you need the initial and final values of the consumer price index (CPI) for a specific good or service. By subtracting the initial value from the final value, you determine the difference between the two numbers.

This difference indicates the increase in the CPI for that specific good or service. To find the inflation rate, divide the difference by the initial value (the value recorded for the past date) to obtain a decimal figure.

To express this decimal as a percentage, multiply it by 100. The resulting number represents the inflation rate.

Also Read: Cost inflation index (CII) for FY 2023-24 to calculate capital gains

Types of Inflation

There are several types of inflation, each characterised by its underlying causes and effects. Here are some common types of inflation:

  1. Demand-Pull Inflation: This occurs when aggregate demand in an economy outpaces the supply of goods and services. It is typically fueled by factors such as increased consumer spending, expansionary fiscal policies, or excessive money supply. Demand-pull inflation leads to rising prices as businesses struggle to meet the high demand.
  2. Cost-Push Inflation: Cost-push inflation arises from increases in production costs, such as wages, raw materials, or taxes. When businesses face higher input costs, they pass on the additional expenses to consumers through higher prices. Cost-push inflation can be triggered by factors like rising energy prices, changes in government regulations, or supply chain disruptions.
  3. Built-In Inflation: Built-in inflation is a self-perpetuating cycle of price increases driven by inflation expectations. It occurs when workers and businesses anticipate future inflation and negotiate higher wages and prices to protect their purchasing power. This leads to an upward spiral of wages, production costs, and prices.
  4. Hyperinflation: Hyperinflation is an extreme and rapid form of inflation where prices skyrocket uncontrollably. It typically occurs due to a severe collapse in confidence in the currency, often caused by excessive money printing, political instability, or economic crises. Hyperinflation erodes the value of money and can have devastating effects on an economy.
  5. Stagflation: Stagflation refers to a combination of stagnant economic growth, high unemployment, and inflationary pressures. It presents a challenging situation for policymakers because traditional measures to stimulate economic growth, such as lowering interest rates or increasing government spending, can exacerbate inflation.
  6. Disinflation: It refers to a decrease in the rate of inflation. It means that while prices are still rising, they are doing so at a slower rate compared to the past. Disinflation is often seen as a positive development as it brings relief from rapid price increases, but it is different from deflation, where overall prices decline.
Also Read: India forex reserves 2024: Exploring current status and historical trends

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the negative impacts of inflation on the economy?

Inflation has detrimental effects on the economy as it diminishes the purchasing power of individuals over time. It leads to a sustained increase in the prices of goods and services, reducing the affordability of essential items.

2. Who determines the inflation rate in India?

The Government of India establishes the inflation target in India in accordance with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). While the government sets an inflation target once every five years, the authority responsible for controlling inflation through monetary policies lies with the Reserve Bank of India.

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