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Indian government expects normal monsoon to help ease food prices

India's retail inflation rate eased slightly to 4.83% in April
Monsoon clouds loom over the overflowing river Yamuna, in New Delhi, India, July 15, 2023. Photo via Reuters
Monsoon clouds loom over the overflowing river Yamuna, in New Delhi, India, July 15, 2023. Photo via Reuters

India expects a normal monsoon to ease food inflation, and cushion its economy from a possible rise in global commodity prices due to geopolitical tensions, said a government report released on Friday.

Government steps including the sale of state food stocks on the open market were helping to stabilise food prices, said the finance ministry’s monthly economic report.

India’s retail inflation rate eased slightly to 4.83% in April although food prices remained elevated. Food inflation, which accounts for nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, rose 8.70% in April, compared with a 8.52% rise in the previous month.

A normal monsoon and easing of food prices should help India “firewall” against any adverse pressures that may arise from geopolitical tensions and global commodity prices, the report said.

However, geopolitical tensions and volatility in global commodity prices, especially of petroleum products, present substantial challenges, it said.

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