The wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation rate fell to a 25 month low of 3.85 per cent in February, pulled down by a higher base and easing of pricing pressure across various goods categories.
WPI stood at 4.73 per cent in January 2023, compared to 2.51 per cent in January 2021. It is the fifth consecutive month that factory-gate inflation has seen a single-digit print after remaining in double digits for 18 months.
Data released by the ministry of commerce and industry on Tuesday showed that inflation for manufactured items eased to 1.94 per cent in February from 2.99 per cent in January. It was led by softening price pressure in sectors like manufactured food products, leather, wood, paper, chemicals and cement among others. Though, contraction in prices continued in textiles and fats.
However, food inflation excluding manufactured food items rose to 3.81 per cent in February from 2.38 per cent in January. Though price rise for wheat (18.54 per cent) and cereals (13.95 per cent) saw a marginal deceleration from January, the prices of paddy, pulses, fruits and milk underwent acceleration from their January levels.
However, vegetable prices (-21.53 per cent) saw contraction for the fourth consecutive month in February, mostly led by decline in onion prices (-40.14 per cent).