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Wholesale inflation falls to historic low of (-)4.05% on cheaper vegetables, fuel

New Delhi: Deflationary trends continued for the ninth month in a row in July with wholesale inflation plunging to a historic low of (-)4.05 percent on cheaper vegetable and fuel, which may prompt RBI to cut interest rate ahead of the 29 September policy meet.

The WPI number follows retail inflation (CPI) data, which had slipped to a record low of 3.78 percent in July.

 Wholesale inflation falls to historic low of (-)4.05% on cheaper vegetables, fuel

Cheaper vegetables. AFP

The overall wholesale price index-based (WPI) inflation was (-)2.40 percent in June, government data showed today. It has been in the negative zone since November 2014. A year ago in July 2014, inflation was 5.41 percent.

During the month, pulses, milk, edible oil, egg, meat and fish turned dearer.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan after the monetary policy announcement on 4 August had said the central bank may cut interest rate even out of the policy cycle depending on how macroeconomic indicators play out.

"We are waiting for information. There was more need to move fast in the early stages of the turnaround. We will take all information into account and decide whether at times it warrants moving in between policy cycle or it does not," he had said after the policy meet.

RBI mostly tracks the consumer price inflation for its policy decision, and its next review is due on 29 September.

Last month, rate of price rise for food items, especially rice, vegetables and fruits, eased at a wholesale level.

Overall wholesale inflation in the food category was (-)1.16 percent compared with 2.88 percent in June.

Vegetable prices declined 24.52 percent, with potato prices slumping 49.27 percent.

However, pulses got dearer by 35.75 percent as against 33.67 percent in the previous month.

Inflation in fuel and power category stood at (-)12.81 percent in June.

The manufactured product index inflation was (-)1.47 percent as against (-)0.77 percent last month. Prices eased for sugar, beverage, tobacco and tobacco products.

Prices of cotton textile also declined 4.63 per cent, and those of leather and leather products 2.43 percent.

Since RBI wanted more clarity over inflation numbers in months to come, it kept policy rate unchanged during its policy review earlier this month.

RBI kept the repo rate, at which it lends to banks, unchanged at 7.25 percent and the cash reserve ratio, the proportion of deposits banks have to park with the central bank, at 4 percent.

PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 14, 2015 16:43:17 IST