New Delhi: High food prices have led to a four-month high in retail inflation that rose to 2.57 per cent in February. The retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at a 19-month low of 1.97 per cent in January and 4.44 per cent in February 2018. (Also read: Average Rate of Inflation Down, Says Minister Piyush Goyal)

Food inflation based on CPI, however, was in negative at 0.66 per cent. The earlier lowest inflation was 2.33 per cent in November 2018. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) factors in retail inflation while deciding its monetary policy.

In another set of data released by the Government, industrial production or factory output slipped to 1.7 per cent in January 2019 from 2.4 per cent in December 2018 on account of slowdown in the manufacturing sector.

Factory output as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown by 7.5 per cent in January last year. During April-January 2018-19, the industrial output grew at 4.4 per cent as against 4.1 per cent in the same period previous fiscal, according to the data released by the Central Statistics Office.

In January, inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 10-month low of 2.76 per cent over the previous month on softening prices of fuel and some food items, according to Government data released in February.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 3.8 per cent in December, 2018, and 3.02 per cent in January 2018. WPI inflation stood at 2.74 per cent in March 2018.

Inflation in kitchen essentials like potato, onion, fruits, and milk softened in January over the previous month, the data revealed.