WPI inflation eases to 2.48% in February

WPI inflation eases to 2.48% in February

Wholesale prices climbed 2.48 percent year-over-year in February, slower than January's 2.84 percent rise.

The wholesale price index-based (WPI) inflation eased to a seven-month low of 2.48% in February, helped by food and fuel prices. The inflation for the food articles, from primary group and manufactured products group, decreased to 0.07% in February from 1.65% in the previous month.

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.

While inflation in vegetables softened to 15.26% compared with 40.77% in January while that in onions reigned high at 118.95% albeit lower than 193.89% rise registered in the first month of the calendar year.

The cost of fuel and power, which commands a 13.15 per cent weightage in the index, increased at a slower pace of 3.81 per cent during the month, from a growth of 4.08 per cent in January.

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.

However, WPI inflation for manufactured items was higher compared in February at 3.04 per cent compared to 2.78 per cent in January.

The index for "Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas" group rose by 2.9 per cent to 80.6 (provisional) from 78.3 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of crude petroleum (3 per cent) and natural gas (2 per cent).

The consumer price index (CPI)-based retail inflation has also eased to 4.44% in February, as per the data released earlier.

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