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Wholesale inflation rises to 2.93% in Feb

Friday, March 15, 2019

Inflation based on wholesale prices inched up to 2.93% in February over the previous month on account of firming up of prices of food items, including vegetables and cereals, according to government data released yesterday.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation was 2.76% in January this year and 2.74% in February 2018.

Earlier this week, the Consumer Price Index data also showed that retail inflation, which is factored in by the RBI while deciding key interest rate, rose to 2.57%, which was a four-month-high level, in February due to costlier food articles.

According to the latest WPI data, the inflation in the food basket was 4.28% in February, compared with 2.34% in the previous month.

On a monthly basis, the data showed that inflation was higher in cases of cereals, paddy, wheat, pulses, vegetables, fruits and other protein-rich kitchen essentials such as egg, meat and fish. However, the rate of price rise in February was slower in the case of milk.

The wholesale inflation in the fuel and power segment was also higher at 2.23%, compared with 1.85% in January. Meanwhile, the WPI for December 2018 has been revised downwards at 3.46% as compared to provisional estimate of 3.8%.

In its analysis of the WPI data, CARE Ratings said inflation in the economy has started moving up from the trough reached last month both at retail and wholesale levels.

"The rise in wholesale inflation can be ascribed to increase in primary articles viz food and non-food articles...The build-up inflation so far (April 2018-Feb 2019) was 2.75%, higher than the 2.56% registered in the corresponding period last year," it said.

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