Wholesale Inflation Eases To 3-Month Low Of 0.27 In Jan; Food Prices Cool

January's WPI-based inflation dips to a 3-month low at 0.27%, driven by a significant drop in food prices, particularly vegetables.
Wholesale Inflation Eases To 3-Month Low Of 0.27 In Jan; Food Prices Cool

The wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation eased to a three-month low of 0.27 per cent in January, mainly due to moderation of food prices, including vegetables.

The WPI inflation was in the negative zone from April to October and had turned positive in November at 0.39 per cent.

In January 2023, it was at 4.8 per cent and in December 2023 it was 0.73 per cent.

"The annual rate of inflation based on the All India Wholesale Price Index (WPI) number is 0.27 per cent (provisional) for the month of January, 2024 (over January, 2023)," the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The previous low level of WPI inflation was recorded in October 2023, when it was (-) 0.26 per cent.

In January, food inflation declined to 6.85 per cent, from 9.38 per cent in December 2023.

Within food articles, inflation in vegetables eased to 19.71 per cent from 26.3 per cent in December. Inflation in potatoes was in the negative zone.

The prices of fruits, eggs, milk, fish, and milk have eased.

In the fuel and power segment, inflation was (-) 0.51 per cent in January, as against (-) 2.41 per cent in December 2023.

In manufactured products, inflation was (-) 1.13 per cent, as against (-) 0.71 per cent in the previous month.

The Reserve Bank in its bi-monthly monetary policy earlier month held interest rates steady with a view to bring down Consumer Price Index (CPI) or retail inflation at 4 per cent. Retail inflation still rules over 5 per cent.

As per government data, the month-over-month change in WPI index for January, 2024 stood at (-) 0.33 per cent, as compared to December, 2023.

The index for primary particles declined by 1.04 per cent to 181 in January, 2024 from 182.9 for December.

Prices of minerals (0.93 per cent) increased in January, this year over December 2023.

On the other hand, prices of crude petroleum and natural gas (-) 0.33 per cent, non-food articles (-) 0.49 per cent and food articles (-) 1.36 per cent declined in January, 2024 as compared to December, 2023.

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