India Wholesale Price Inflation At 2-Year Low On Easing Food, Energy Prices

India’s wholesale price inflation softened further at the start of the year to the lowest level in twenty-four months amid continued slowdown in prices for food articles, fuel and power, provisional data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry revealed on Tuesday.

The wholesale price index, or WPI, climbed 4.73 percent year-over-year in January, slower than the 4.95 rise in December. Economists had expected inflation to ease to 5.60 percent.

Further, the rate of inflation remained below the 5.0 percent mark for the second straight time in January, and at the slowest pace since early 2021.

The slowdown in inflation was contributed by a fall in the price of mineral oils, chemicals and chemical products, textiles, crude petroleum and natural gas, textiles, and food products, the ministry said.

The annual price growth in fuel and power eased considerably from 34.36 percent in December to 15.15 percent in January.

Prices for primary articles grew 3.88 percent and those for manufactured products gained 2.99 percent.

Inflation based on food prices softened notably to 2.38 percent in January from 10.40 percent in December, and costs for non-food articles logged an annual growth of 4.52 percent.

On a monthly basis, wholesale prices edged up 0.13 percent in January, reversing a 1.38 percent decline in the prior month. It was the first increase in three months.

Data released on Monday showed that India’s consumer price inflation rose to a three-month high of 6.52 percent in January from 5.72 percent in December.

The inflation crossed the Reserve Bank of India’s target corridor of 2 to 6 percent, reflecting the influence of the hawkish policy stance made by the monetary policy committee at its December meeting due to the easing trend in inflation.

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