Wholesale price inflation falls further to a 9-month low of 4.68%

news
14 March 2014

Helped by continuing decline in the prices of vegetables, the annual rate of inflation, based on the wholesale price index, further declined to hit a nine-month low of 4.68 per cent in February 2014 compared to 5.05 per cent in the previous month.

Wholesale price inflation falls further to a 9-month low of 4.68%The inflation rate for February 2014 was also the second-lowest in the last 52-months.

The WPI-based inflation rate stood at 7.28 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year.

Build-up of inflation in the financial year so far was 5.17 per cent compared to a build-up of 6.15 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The inflation rate for the primary articles group further eased to 6.3 per cent in February 2014 from 6.8 per cent in January 2014, due mainly to lower prices of poultry chicken, egg, gram and fruits and vegetables, maize, barley, ragi, tea, bajra and arhar. 

However, the prices of fish, jowar, moong, masur, urad, milk, rice and mutton moved up in February.

Inflation rate for the fuel and power group also dipped to 8.8 per cent in February 2014 from 10 per cent in January 2014, while inflation for manufactured products was flat at 2.8 per cent in February 2014.

Among other major commodity groups, prices of spices, flowers, crude petroleum, coal, mineral oils, sugar, tea, cotton shirts, automotives etc also eased in February 2014.

The inflation for food items eased to 5.6 per cent in February 2014 from 6.2 per cent in January 2014 while inflation for non-food items eased to 4.4 per cent in February 2014 from 4.6 per cent in January 2014.

Core inflation or the rise and fall in the prices of manufactured products (excluding foods products) inched up slightly to 3.15 per cent in February 2014 from 3.04 per cent in January 2014.

However, with the Reserve Bank of India still focusing on consumer price inflation (CPI), which gives a better picture of actual price movements at the retail level, the decline in wholesale price inflation is not going to make an impact on RBI's monetary policy stance.

February CPI at 8.1 per cent was about 70 basis points below than its January figure and also the lowest since January 2012 when it was 7.65 per cent.

The core CPI in February, too, dropped 20 basis points to 8 per cent in February 2014 from 8.2 per cent in the previous month.

WPI inflation figure for December 2013 has been revised upwards to 6.4 per cent from 6.16 per cent reported earlier, while that for January 2014 has been retained unchanged at 5.05 per cent.





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