India’s wholesale inflation stays in negative for 17th month

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) As prices of pulses continued to remain firm, India’s annual wholesale inflation rose a tad to (-)0.85 percent for March from (-)0.91 percent in the month before, while remaining in the negative zone for the 17th straight month, official data showed on Monday.

As per data on official wholesale price index (WPI) released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry, annual inflation in pulses was 34.45 percent in the month under review, as the result of which the rise in food article index over the like period was well above the general index at 3.73 percent.

But prices of onions were down 17.65 percent and vegetables in general lower by 2.26 percent.

Thanks to a significant fall in prices of transport fuels — 9.87 for petrol and 9.79 percent for diesel — the index for fuel and power was also down by 8.30 percent. And the index for the other major group of manufactured products was down 0.13 in March.

Last week, data on consumer price index released by the Central Statistics Office showed that the retail annual inflation had fallen to a six-month low of 4.83 percent in March from 5.26 percent in February. The retail food inflation also fell to 5.21 percent from 5.30 percent.

The Reserve Bank of India expects the retail inflation to rule at around 5 percent by the end of this fiscal.

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