Economic Survey 2018-19: Country moves to more stable and low level of inflation in last five fiscals

New Delhi: The country's inflation rate has moved to a more stable and low level in the last five fiscals, and controlling price surge remains a key policy focus area of the government, the Economic Survey for 2018-19 said on Thursday.

Retail inflation based on consumer price index - Combined (CPI-C) fell to 3.4 percent in 2018-19 from 3.6 percent in 2017-18, 4.5 percent in 2016-17, 4.9 percent 2015-16 and 5.9 percent in 2014-15, the Economic Survey 2018-19, tabled by Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament, said.

Retail inflation during the first month of the current fiscal stood at 2.9 percent, down from 4.6 percent a year ago.

Food inflation based on Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) declined to a low of 0.1 percent during the financial year 2018-19, the survey said.

 Economic Survey 2018-19: Country moves to more stable and low level of inflation in last five fiscals

Representational image. Reuters.

"The Economic Survey states that the economy witnessed a gradual transition from a period of high and variable inflation to the more stable and low level of inflation in the last five years.

"The government has taken a number of measures to control inflation specially food inflation," as per the survey.

Controlling inflation remains a key area of policy focus and the general measures such as regular monitoring of inflation, issuing advisories to states against hoarding and black marketing, holding regular review meetings on prices and availability of key commodities were taken to keep inflation in check, the survey said.

Higher Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for pulses and other crops to incentivise production and setting up of Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) for procurement of agri-horticultural commodities are among the other steps taken.

Specific measures such as releasing onions at reasonable prices, utilisation of pulses from the buffer for strategic market interventions and to meet the requirements of the Army and Central Para-Military Forces were among the specific measures taken by the government, according to the survey.

The survey also finds that food inflation in the country has been extremely benign.

"Average food inflation for the financial year 2018-19 declined to a low of 0.1 percent. The food deflation in the second half of 2018-19 is mainly due to deflation in vegetables, fruits, pulses and products, sugar and confectionary and eggs, which together account for 13.1 percent rate in overall CPI-C," the survey said.

The year also witnessed a reduction in both rural and urban inflation, while many states witnessed a fall in retail inflation.

Updated Date: Jul 04, 2019 14:55:04 IST