The wholesale price index (WPI) inflation eased to 4.73 per cent in January from 4.95 per cent recorded in December. According to the release by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, decline in the rate of inflation in January, 2023 is primarily contributed by mineral oils, chemicals and chemical products, textiles, crude petroleum & natural gas, textiles, and food products.
The food index inflation climbed to 2.95 per cent in January from December’s 0.65 per cent. Inflation in pulses was 2.41 per cent, while in vegetables was (-) 26.48 per cent. Inflation in oil seeds was (-) 4.22 per cent in January.
Fuel and power basket inflation eased to 15.15 per cent, from 18.09 per cent in December 2022. In manufactured products it was 2.99 per cent, against 3.37 per cent in December, 2022.
The deceleration in WPI comes in contrast to the retail inflation data released on Monday which showed consumer price index (CPI) or retail inflation rose to 6.52 per cent in January, from 5.72 per cent in December 2022.
The number comes a day after the government released the headline retail inflation numbers.
In the latest RBI MPC, Governor Shaktikanta Das last week said the retail inflation is expected to average 5.6 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2023-24. “Core inflation remains sticky,” he pointed out. The CPI inflation seen at 5.3 per cent in FY24, Das said. The inflation forecasts assume the price of India’s crude oil basket at $95 per barrel.
Assuming an average crude oil price (Indian basket) of $95 per barrel, RBI bettered inflation projection for current fiscal to 6.5 per cent in 2022-23, from 6.8 per cent predicted earlier. In the January-March quarter, the RBI expects retail inflation to average at 5.7 per cent.
The governor said that inflation is projected at 6.5 per cent for the current financial year 2022-23. “On the assumption of a normal monsoon, CPI inflation is projected at 5.3 per cent for 2023-24,” Das added.
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