India’s wholesale inflation at 8-months low in December


Inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a eight-month low of 3.80% in December 2018, on softening prices of fuel and some food items.


The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 4.64% in November, 2018, and 3.58 per cent in December 2017.


According to the government data released on Monday, deflation in food articles stood at 0.07% in December, against 3.31% in November.


Vegetables, too, saw deflation at 17.55% in December, compared to 26.98% in the previous month.


Inflation in the ‘fuel and power’ basket in December slumped to 8.38%, nearly half of 16.28% in November. This was on account of lowering of prices of petrol and diesel through December.


Individually, in petrol and diesel inflation was 1.57% and 8.61%, respectively, and for liquified petroleum gas (LPG) it was 6.87% during December.


Among food articles, potato prices became cheaper substantially with inflation at 48.68% in December, as against 86.45% in November.


Inflation in pulses stood at 2.11%, while in ‘egg, meat and fish’ it was 4.55%.

Onion witnessed deflation of 63.83% in December, compared to 47.60% in November.


‘ 8-months low’


The 3.80% inflation is the lowest in eight months, and a lower inflation than this was last seen in April at 3.62%.


Data for retail or consumer price index-based inflation would be released later in the day.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy.


In its fifth monetary policy review for the fiscal, last month, the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged, but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to inflation do not materialise.


The central bank lowered retail inflation projection to 2.7-3.2% for the second half of the current fiscal, citing normal monsoon and moderate food prices.


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