WPI inflation eases to 2.48% in February



Wholesale prices eased to a seven-month low of 2.48 per cent in February as food items and fuel became cheaper.

India's wholesale inflation declined in February 2018 for the third successive month, after reaching an eight-month high of 3.9 per cent in November, 2017.

Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 2.30 per cent compared to 4.92 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year, the ministry said.

The official WPI for all commodities (Base: 2011-12 = 100) for the month of February 2018 remained unchanged at its previous month's level of 115.8, the data showed. Onion prices remained stubborn, increasing almost 80% in February but lower than 127% in the previous month. However, LPG rose lower at 8.5 per cent. However, an unfavourable base effect for crude petroleum and natural gas, and fuel and power is likely to push up the WPI inflation in March 2018.

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The index for "Coal" group rose by 1.2 per cent to 122.6 (provisional) from 121.1 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of non-coking coal (2 per cent). However, the price of manufacture of other textiles (1 per cent) declined.

Similarly, CARE Ratings also said while food prices will remain stable in the coming months, inflationary threats could arise from increase in global oil or commodity prices, unseasonal weather patterns and increase in Minimum Support Prices for some crops.

The data also showed that the rate of price rise in manufactured items was higher compared to January.

Among primary articles, food, which has a weightage of 15.26 per cent in the index, edged up last month by 0.88 per cent from an acceleration of three per cent reported for January.

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