Wholesale inflation eases to 2.48% in Feb; food, fuel prices up marginally

Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2018

Inflation based on wholesale prices eased to a seven-month low of 2.48 per cent in February on cheaper food articles, including vegetables.

Wednesday's wholesale inflation data follows the retail inflation figures for February released earlier this week which showed a slight cooling in the consumer price-indexed (CPI) inflation at 4.4 per cent on the back of lower food and fuel prices.

The inflation data is in line with a 2.50% increase forecast made by economists in a Reuters poll.

The index for this major group declined by 1.3% to 128 (provisional) from 129.7 (provisional) for the previous month.

Inflation in vegetables softened with annual inflation at 15.26 per cent as against 40.77 per cent in January.

According to the Commerce Ministry data, the WPI inflation in February 2017 was more than double at 5.1 per cent.

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 protein rich items like egg, fish and meat too was in the negative zone. The data also showed that the rate of price rise in manufactured items was higher compared to January.

The February WPI food inflation was recorded at 0.07 percent as compared to 1.65 percent in January, while the WPI fuel and power inflation were recorded 3.81 percent as compared to 4.08 percent in January.