A worker arranges eggs in a wholesale store at Crawford Market in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

India’s Wholesale Inflation Hits Eight-Month Low On Falling Food Prices

Wholesale prices in India hit an eight-month low in March, as prices for food articles continued to decline.

Inflation measured by the Wholesale Price Index stood at 2.47 percent last month, compared with 2.48 percent in February, according to a Ministry of Commerce and Industry release. That's marginally higher than the 2.43 percent median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

This is the lowest wholesale price-based inflation since July 2017, when it stood at 1.88 percent. Meanwhile, the wholesale inflation was revised to 3.02 percent in January from 2.84 percent earlier.

India’s Wholesale Inflation Hits Eight-Month Low  On Falling Food Prices

The index for food articles fell 0.4 percent led by five percent fall in egg prices, and three percent fall in the prices of tea, coffee, poultry and spices, the release said.

The Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy committee, in its bi-monthly meeting last week, noted that a sharp moderation in food prices over the last two months will keep inflation lower-than-expected during the April-September period this year.

Overall food inflation should remain under check on the assumption of a normal monsoon and effective supply management by the Government.
MPC Statement

The committee, however, cited upward risks to inflation.

Retail inflation in March moderated to 4.28 percent, for the third consecutive quarter. Core inflation, however, continued to rise hitting a 43-month high.

Key Highlights:

  • Prices of primary articles fell 0.5 percent.
  • Prices of food articles fell 0.4 percent.
  • Prices of fuel and power fell 0.1 percent.
  • Prices of manufactured products rose 0.4 percent.