NEW DELHI: The country’s Wholesale Price Index (WPI) fell by 0.85 per cent in March, giving yet another reason for Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan to cut rate, in addition to the fall in Consumer Price Inflation and an above normal monsoon.
WPI is the price of goods that is available at wholesale. It is a stage when the goods are sold and purchased between organizations. It is a not a stage when the good is sold to consumers. WPI is used as an important measure of inflation in India and is monitored by the office of the economic advisor in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The fall in WPI for the 17th straight month is almost the same as the 0.9 per cent fall in February mirroring the global commodity price slump and a loss of pricing power for India Inc for almost six quarters.In March last year, it was negative 2.33 per cent.
Food inflation stood at 3.73 per cent in March against 3.35 per cent in February.
Inflation rate for vegetables came in at a negative 2.26 per cent in March, while for cereals and pulses it was at 2.47 pe rcent and 34.45 per cent respectively.
“ WPI inflation is expected to move into positive territory next month but will remain in low single digit in the foreseeable future,” said Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist, India Ratings.
Onions prices were down 17.65 per cent and vegetables down by 2.26 per cent. The index for fuel and power was also down by 8.30 per cent.