New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) Continuing a southward trend, retail inflation slipped to a five-month low of 4.28 per cent in March on account of easing food prices, including vegetables, government data showed today.

Although, the inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been declining, it is still above the Reserve Bank’s mid-term target of 4 per cent. The government has mandated the RBI to tame inflation at 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on the either side.

Consumer inflation, a key data factored in by the RBI to arrive at key policy rates, was 4.44 per cent in February.

However, the March 2018 inflation is higher than 3.89 per cent recorded in the same month last year.

The previous low of consumer inflation at 3.58 per cent was recorded in October 2017.

As per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), inflation in the vegetables segment cooled to 11.7 per cent in March from 17.57 per cent in the previous month.

The rate of price rise in the protein rich items like eggs, milk and other products too moderated in March as against the previous month.

However, inflation in fruits basket was higher.

Overall, inflation in the food basket was 2.81 per cent, lower than 3.26 per cent in February.

The CSO data further revealed that inflation in the fuel and light segment also came in lower at 5.73 per cent month-on-month basis.

The Reserve Bank had maintained status-quo on interest rate in its monetary policy earlier this month citing inflationary concerns.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.