India's Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation eased to 2.26% in February from 3.1% in January and 2.93% during the same month of the previous year (February 2019), helped by a sharp decline in food inflation.
"Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 1.92% compared to a build up rate of 2.75% in the corresponding period of the previous year," according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Monday.
As per the data, the wholesale inflation of food articles declined to 7.79% in February compared to 11.51% in January.
As for non-food articles, prices declined by 3.7% due to lower prices of fruits and vegetables (14%), tea (8%), egg and maize (7% each), condiments & spices and bajra (4% each), gram and jowar (2% each) and fish-inland, pork, ragi, wheat, urad and masur (1% each). However, the price of beef and buffalo meat and fish-marine (5% each), betel leaves (4%), moong and poultry chicken (3% each), mutton (2%) and barley, rajma and arhar (1% each) moved up, the data showed.
The index for non-food articles group eased by 0.4%, helped by lower price of safflower (kardi seed) (7%), soyabean (6%), cotton seed (4%), castor seed, niger seed and linseed (3% each), gaur seed, rape & mustard seed and fodder (2% each) and raw cotton and mesta (1% each).
The index for crude petroleum and natural gas group declined by 1.5%, while the index for fuel and power rose by 1.2%, the data showed.
Last week, data showed that the retail inflation, calculated on the basis of Consumer Price Index (CPI), also slipped down to 6.58% in February against 7.59% in January. However, it was still above 2.57% recorded in February 2019, the National Statistics Office (NSO) data showed.
Also Read: RBI revises Q4 CPI inflation target to 6.5%
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) closely follows retail inflation while deciding on its monetary policy. It has revised upward its CPI inflation target to 6.5% for the March quarter of current fiscal. It also set an inflation target of 5.4-5% for the first half of 2020-21 and 3.2% for the third quarter of 2020-21.
By Chitranjan Kumar