India's WPI inflation for apparel up 0.4% in Feb '18

A man selling fruits and vegetables at Delhi's Azadpur Mandi

The wholesale price index-based (WPI) inflation eased to a seven-month low of 2.48% in February, helped by food and fuel prices. The previous low level was recorded in July at 1.88%. The WPI data showed prices of pulses contracted an annual 24.3%, while those of vegetables rose 15.4% during the month, slower than the 36.7% rise in the previous month. The inflation for the food articles, from primary group and manufactured products group, decreased to 0.07% in February from 1.65% in the previous month.

The index for "Manufacture of Motor Vehicles, Trailers and Semi-Trailers" group rose by 0.4 percent to 111.1 (provisional) from 110.7 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of brake pad/brake liner/brake block/brake rubber, others (5 percent), engine (2 percent) and seat for motor vehicles, piston ring/piston and compressor, head lamp and body (for commercial motor vehicles) (1percent each).

Onion prices in February soared higher by 118.95 per cent and potatoes by 11.67 per cent.

India's annual wholesale price inflation eased in December from an eight-month. In fact most of the sub-segments of the manufacturing sector apart from the Chemicals industry actually saw flat to negative WPI inflation.

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"An unfavourable base effect for crude petroleum and natural gas, and fuel and power is likely to push up the WPI inflation in March".

According to the data of Central Statistics Office (CSO), retail inflation measured in term of Consumer Price Index had dropped to a four-month low of 4.44 per cent in February on cheaper food articles and lower cost for fuel.

There was no price rise in egg, fish and meat, the government data showed. Primary food and non-food articles, fuel and power and manufactured food products were the key drivers of the easing in the WPI inflation in February 2018.

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