WPI inflation slips to 3.07% in April, food prices still high

The Reserve Bank, which mainly factors in retail inflation for monetary policy decision, had last month cut interest rate by 0.25 percentage points

Wholesale price-based inflation slipped to 3.07 per cent in April on cheaper fuel and manufactured items, even as prices of food articles remained high, according to official data released on Tuesday (May 14).

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation was at 3.18 per cent in March. It was 3.62 per cent in April 2018. Inflation in food articles hardened with steep rise in prices of vegetables during April. Vegetables inflation was at 40.65 per cent in April, up from 28.13 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in food articles basket was 7.37 per cent, up from 5.68 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in ‘fuel and power’ category cooled to 3.84 per cent, from 5.41 per cent in March. Manufactured items too saw easing of prices with inflation at 1.72 per cent in April, against 2.16 per cent in March.

The Reserve Bank, which mainly factors in retail inflation for monetary policy decision, had last month cut interest rate by 0.25 percentage points. Retail inflation inched up to a six-month high of 2.92 per cent in April due to a spike in food prices, including vegetables, meat, fish and eggs, data released on Monday showed. For April-September period, the RBI has projected retail inflation at 2.9-3 per cent, mainly due to lower food and fuel prices as well as expectation of a normal monsoon. The Monetary Policy Committee headed by the RBI Governor would be meeting early June for second monetary policy review for the fiscal.