Consumer prices up 6% in January, food, fuel, transport costlier

Retail prices increased by 6% in January, compared to the same month a year ago, according to data released by the government today.

The increase in consumer prices was higher in rural areas (7%) compared to urban areas (4%), according to the data.

As expected, the highest increase was in the prices of vegetables. Veggies were costlier by 29% in January 2011 compared to January 2010.

Unlike the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is measured on the basis of street prices of items, rather than their ex-factory or whole-sale prices.

Nearly all the price increase was caused by the rise of food prices. Besides vegetables, prices of fruits jumped 12% and those of oils increased 11%. Overall, food and drinks were costlier by 8% in January this year.

In comparison, fuels were costlier by 7% while housing prices remained unchanged, according to the CPI.

Cost of education was up 3%, medical care up 4% and transport up 5%.