The wholesale price-based inflation declined to a more than two-year low of 3.85 per cent in January on easing prices of manufactured items, fuel and power, though food articles remained expensive.
This is the ninth straight month of decline in the rate of wholesale price-index (WPI) based inflation. The WPI inflation was 4.73 per cent in January and 13.43 per cent in February, last year.
“Decline in the rate of inflation in February 2023 is primarily contributed by fall in prices of crude petroleum and natural gas, non-food articles, food products, minerals, computer, electronic and optical products, chemicals and chemical products, electrical equipment and motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers,” the commerce and industry ministry said on Tuesday.
The 3.85 per cent WPI inflation is the lowest since January 2021, when the rate of price rise on wholesale basis was 2.51 per cent.
The decline in the rate of price rise was mainly due to a favourable base effect, economists said, adding that softening commodity prices would help ease WPI inflation further.
However, the future course of food inflation would depend on weather related conditions and timely monsoon.
Inflation in manufactured items softened, but in the case of food articles it rose to 3.81 per cent in February, from 2.38 per cent in January.
Inflation in pulses was 2.59 per cent, while in vegetables was (-)21.53 per cent. Inflation in oil seeds was (-)7.38 per cent in February 2023.
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