WPI inflation eases to 6-month low of 2.84% in January


New Delhi, Feb 15: India’s wholesale inflation eased for the second consecutive month, growing at 2.84 percent in January even as food, vegetable and fuel prices continued to witness an uptrend, latest price data released by the commerce ministry showed today.
The wholesale price index (WPI) , is a marker for price movements in bulk buys for traders and broadly mirrors trends in shop-end prices. WPI witnessed a growth of 3.58 percent in December after hitting an eight-month high of 3.93 percent in November.
Primary articles, which accounts for more than a fifth of the entire wholesale price index grew 2.37 percent in January from 1.93 percent year a percent ago and 3.86 percent in December.
Latest price data shows that among primary articles, food prices, especially vegetables, potatoes, onions, eggs, milk and fruits continued to rise, while prices wheat and pulses continued to fall compared to last year.
“The WPI inflation for January 2018 printed considerably lower than expected, led by a sharp dip in the food inflation driven by vegetables, pulses and sugar, and a base effect led moderation in the rate for fuel and power,” Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist at ICRA said.
“However, higher commodity prices and a seasonal reset of prices at the beginning of the year, resulted in a considerable uptick in the core inflation,” Nayar said.
Prices of vegetables eased in January, growing 40.77 percent as compared with a growth of 56.46 percent in December and a negative growth of (-) 23.49 percent in January, 2017. However, price of onion—a key ingredient used in Indian kitchen—continued to remain expensive for the common man as it grew nearly 194 percent in January as compared with a contraction (-) 36.08 percent during the same period a year ago.