Wholesale inflation eases in Febuary

A fruit seller talks on his phone in a wholesale market in Guwahati

Twelve out of 21 sub-sectors of the non-food manufactured products recorded a month-on-month increase in index levels in February 2018, reflecting a combination of higher commodity prices, a mild weakening of the rupee and rising pricing power.

Wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation was at 2.84 per cent in January 2018 and was at 5.52 per cent in February a year ago.

The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly Wholesale Price Index (WPI) stood at 2.48 per cent (provisional) for the month of February 2018 as compared to 2.84 per cent (provisional) for the previous month, and 5.51 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year. The WPI data showed prices of pulses contracted an annual 24.3%, while those of vegetables rose 15.4% during the month, slower than the 36.7% rise in the previous month.

Retail inflation in February slowed to 4.4% in February due to lower food prices, which calmed fears about a spike in price pressure.

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According to Aditi Nayar, principal economist at Icra, "The decline in the WPI inflation was largely in line with expectations, unlike the sharper-than-expected correction in the CPI inflation". Prices of onions and potatoes, two staples, grew by 118 and 12 per cent, respectively.

Similarly, CARE Ratings also said while food prices will remain stable in the coming months, inflationary threats could arise from increase in global oil or commodity prices, unseasonal weather patterns and increase in Minimum Support Prices for some crops. However, LPG rose lower at 8.5 per cent.

The consumer price index (CPI)-based retail inflation has also eased to 4.44% in February, as per the data released earlier.

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action.

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