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Govt Does Not Release April Inflation Figures as Coronavirus Lockdown Prevents Data Collection

The government did not release the April CPI inflation data on Tuesday as the nationwide lockdown prevented officials from collecting price data at various centres.

However, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data that could be collected telephonically has been released, the National Statistical Office (NSO) said in a release.

Usually, price data is collected from selected 1,114 urban markets and 1,181 villages through personal visits by field staff of Field Operations Division of NSO on a weekly roaster.

The data collected telephonically did show increase in prices of certain important commodities like milk products, fruits and vegetables in April over March.

However, the press release said, “the General CPI and indices at State/UT level are not being released for the month of April, 2020.”

In view of the preventive measures and announcement of nationwide lockdown by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19, the collection of data on prices for CPI through personal visits of price collectors was suspended with effect from March 19, 2020.

In April 2020, price data was largely collected by telephonic enquiry from the designated outlets.

This was supplemented by information collected during the personal purchase of field staff for the items being transacted from neighbourhood outlets keeping in view the travel advisories, the release said.

NSO said the price movements for the sub-groups ‘meat and fish’ and ‘prepared meals, snacks, sweets etc’ under ‘Food & Beverages’ Group as well as the ‘Pan, Tobacco and Intoxicants’ Group, ‘Clothing and Footwear’ Group were not compiled.

Meanwhile, the retail inflation for March has been revised marginally lower to 5.84 per cent compared to 5.91 per cent estimated earlier, it added.

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