India's wholesale price-based inflation rate eased to a five-month low of 6.16 per cent in December from a 14-month high of 7.52 per cent in the previous month, helped by a softening of the prices of fruits and vegetables.
The official wholesale price index for 'all commodities' (Base: 2004-05 = 100) declined by 1.3 per cent to 179.2 (provisional) in December 2013 from 181.5 (provisional) in the previous month.
The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 7.31 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year.
Build-up of inflation rate in the financial year so far was 5.35 per cent compared to a build-up of 4.84 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Food prices rose 13.68 per cent year-on-year last month, much slower than an annual rise of 19.93 per cent in November.
A softening of food prices had also slowed down consumer price inflation to a three-month low of 9.87 per cent in December, data released on Monday showed.
The index for the `primary articles' group, which has a weight of 20.12 per cent in the WPI, declined by 5.0 per cent. Within the group the index for the 'food articles' group declined by 6.4 per cent due to lower price of fruits and vegetables, fish, coffee, tea, ragi, gram, rice and meat.
However, the price of poultry chicken, egg, moong, condiments and spices, jowar, barley, masur, wheat, fish, milk, arhar, maize, pork, bajra, meat and urad moved up.
The index for the 'non-food articles' group declined by 0.4 per cent due to lower price of guar seed, groundnut seed, raw cotton, cotton seed, soyabean and fodder.
However, the price of flowers, castor seed, raw jute, gingelly seed (sesamum), safflower (kardi seed), tobacco, copra (coconut), sunflower, mesta and niger seed moved up.
The index for the 'minerals' group declined by 3.1 per cent due to lower price of barytes, iron ore, crude petroleum and phosphorite.
However, the price of copper ore and steatite (also called soapstone), manganese ore, chromite and zinc concentrate moved up.
The index for the `fuel and power' group, which has a weight of 14.91 per cent in the WPI, rose 0.8 per cent due to higher price of electricity (industry), LPG, high speed diesel, electricity(commercial), electricity (railway traction), aviation turbine fuel, bitumen and electricity (domestic).
However, the price of furnace oil declined.
The index for the `manufactured products' group, which has a weight of 64.97 per cent in the WPI, remained unchanged at its previous month's level.
Within the group, the index for 'food products' group declined by 0.6 per cent due to lower price of gur, tea leaf, gram powder (besan), tea leaf (blended), copra oil, sunflower oil, oil cakes and groundnut oil, soyabean oil and khandsari.
However, the price of coffee powder, processed prawn, mixed spices, powder milk, mustard and rapeseed oil and tea dust (unblended) and bakery products, ghee, rice bran oil and palm oil moved up.
The index for the 'beverages, tobacco and tobacco products' group rose 1.6 per cent due to higher price of cigarette, dried tobacco and IMFL – blended.
The index for the 'textiles' group declined by 0.1 per cent due to lower price of manmade fibre and cotton yarn.
However, the price of gunny and hessian cloth and jute yarn and cotton fabric moved up.
The index for the 'wood and wood products' group declined by 1.7 per cent due to lower price of processed wood.
The index for the 'paper and paper products' group rose 1.0 per cent due to an across-the-board increase in the prices of all paper products, including books/periodicals/ journals, newspaper and corrugated sheet boxes and cream-laid woven paper, paper for printing/poster, maplitho paper and kraft paper and bags.
However, the price of paper cartons/boxes declined.
The index for the 'leather and leather products' group declined by 1.1 per cent due to lower price of leather footwear.
However, the price of leather moved up.
The index for the 'rubber and plastic products' group rose 0.7 per cent due to higher prices of rubber products and tyres.
The index for the 'chemicals and chemical products' group rose 0.3 per cent due to higher prices of synthetic resin, turpentine oil and safety matches/match box, organic manure, distemper, non-cyclic compound, hair/body oils, pigment and pigment intermediates and dye and dye intermediates.
However, the price of ammonium sulphate, explosives and washing soap, pesticides and rubber chemicals declined.
The index for the 'non-metallic mineral products' group rose 0.5 per cent due to higher price of marbles and slag cement.
The index for the 'basic metals, alloys and metal products' group declined by 0.2 per cent due to lower price of sheets, silver, gold and gold ornaments, aluminium, ferro silicon, steel rods and plates.
However, the price of furniture, melting scrap, sponge iron, CRC and ferro manganese and pencil ingots, steel structures, GP/GC sheets, wire rods, ferro chrome, lead, rounds and angles moved up.
The index for the 'machinery and machine tools' group declined 0.1 per cent due to lower price of electric switches, thresher, electrical wires, batteries, control equipment and material handling equipment and UPS/stabiliser, fans and PVC insulated cable.
However, the price of sprinkler, communication equipment, TV sets, electrical pumps, battery dry cells, electric generators, insulators and machine tools moved up.
The index for the 'transport, equipment and parts' group rose 0.1 per cent due to higher price of auto parts.
The Central Statistical Office (CSO) also revised the final WPI index for October to 7.27 per cent from 7.0 per cent reported earlier based on the final WPI rates.