Wholesale inflation eases in Febuary

India's February Wholesale Inflation Eases for Third Straight Month

A vendor loads tomatoes in a bag for a customer at a wholesale vegetable market in Mumbai India

Annual wholesale inflation, based on Wholesale Price Index or WPI, eased in February for the third consecutive month, after it touched an eight-month high in November previous year.

Wholesale food prices in February rose 0.07% from a year earlier, compared with 1.65% in January, the data showed.

As per major commodity group-wise, inflation declined for cereals, vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken, fibres, raw rubber, floriculture, coal, mineral oils, food products, beverages, paper products, pharma products, rubber & plastic products, fabricated metal products, electrical equipment and furniture in February 2018.

WPI inflation at 2.48% in February is the lowest in seven months. The inflation for the food articles, from primary group and manufactured products group, decreased to 0.07% in February from 1.65% in the previous month. On the basis of Wholesale Price Index (WPI), inflation was 2.84 percent in January and 5.51 percent in February 2017.

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While the rate of price rise in onion slowed, it increased in the case of another kitchen essential, potato.

He said the worrying trend has been increasing divergence between consumer food price inflation as measured by CPI, and wholesale food articles inflation as measured by WPI. In fact most of the sub-segments of the manufacturing sector apart from the Chemicals industry actually saw flat to negative WPI inflation. However, an unfavourable base effect for crude petroleum and natural gas, and fuel and power is likely to push up the WPI inflation in March 2018.

The inflation data is in line with a 2.50% increase forecast made by economists in a Reuters poll. The primary articles inflation eased to 1.4% in April-February FY2018 from 3.4% in April-February FY2017, while fuel products inflation increased to 8.4% from (-) 2.1%.

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