WPI inflation down for third straight month

WPI inflation down for third straight month

Onion prices remained stubborn, increasing almost 80% in February but lower than 127% in the previous month.

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.

India's annual wholesale price inflation eased for the third straight month in February after touching an eight-month high in November, helped by a softer rise in food and fuel prices, government data showed on Wednesday. The index for apparel increased by 0.4 per cent to 139.0 in February, according to the provisional data released by the Office of the Economic Adviser, ministry of commerce and industry.

Several analysts said they would monitor how a hike in import taxes last month across agri-commodities such as oilseeds, pulses and wheat would impact domestic food inflation.

WPI inflation in vegetables eased to 15.26 per cent in February from 40.77 per cent in January.

As a whole, primary articles, which account for more than a fifth of the WPI, grew 0.79 per cent in February, down from 4.01 per cent a year ago and 2.37 per cent in January 2018. Prices of onions and potatoes, two staples, grew by 118 and 12 per cent, respectively.

However, WPI inflation for manufactured items was higher compared in February at 3.04 per cent compared to 2.78 per cent in January.

Wholesale prices of "fuel and power" segment softened to 3.81 per cent in February compared to 4.08 per cent in January.

However, expenses on manufactured products in the month under review registered a rise of 3.04 per cent, from 2.78 per cent in January. That was nearly in line with 2.50 percent increase expected by economists.