India's WPI inflation for apparel up 0.4% in Feb '18

Darnell Taylor
March 15, 2018

Annual wholesale price inflation last month slowed to 2.48% from a year earlier, from a provisional 2.84% rise in January.

Annual wholesale price inflation last month slowed to 2.48 per cent, lower than the 2.84 per cent recorded in January, 2018, and 5.51 per cent recorded in the corresponding month past year, according to data released by the commerce ministry on Wednesday.

Inflation in the WPI Food Index, which consists of food items from the groups of primary and manufactured products, also decreased to 0.07 per cent in February from 1.65 per cent in January, according to official data on Wednesday.

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

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India's retail inflation rate, the main policy target for the RBI, declined for the second straight month in February, to 4.44%, but remained above the central bank's 4% medium-term target.

Onion prices in February soared higher by 118.95 per cent and potatoes by 11.67 per cent. WPI inflation in protein rich items like egg, fish and meat too was in the negative zone. While food prices are expected to remain stable in the coming months, risks to stable prices exist, said CARE Ratings.

However, core inflation or the inflation in non food manufactured products rose sharply. The index for fuel and power (weight 13.15 per cent), on the other hand, increased by 1.2 per cent to 98.1 from 96.9 for the previous month due to higher price of non-coking coal, ATF, kerosene, lube oils, furnace oil, HSD, petrol and petroleum coke.

The latest inflation number was in line with a 2.50% increase forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

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