India’s inflation falls to 3-year low at 4.89 percent

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) India’s headline inflation fell below five percent in April, the lowest since November 2009 as prices of vegetables, milk, eggs, meat and fish eased, government data showed Tuesday.

The moderation in inflation would give some relief to the policymakers who have been struggling to balance the need for controlling inflationary pressure and stimulate economic growth. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has maintained a tight monetary policy stance as inflation stayed stubbornly high for the last couple of years.

Data released by the ministry of commerce and industry showed inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) fell to 4.89 percent in April, from 7.50 percent in the corresponding month of 2012, the lowest levels in nearly three and a half years.

The headline inflation was recorded at 5.96 percent in the previous month and 7.28 percent during February.

Food inflation, which has a 14.34 percent weight in WPI, fell to 6.08 percent during the month under review as compared to 10.92 percent in the corresponding month of last year. In March, food inflation rose by 8.73 percent and in February by 11.95 percent.

The prices of vegetables decelerated by a negative 9.05 percent, while those of milk were lower by 4.04 percent from an increase of 15.68 percent in the corresponding month of 2012.

Eggs, meat and fish prices too eased at 10.44 percent from 17.54 percent in April 2012.

However, onions became costlier by 91.69 percent from last year’s price. Cereals became 15.63 percent costlier and pulses were dearer by 10.28 percent.

Manufactured products, which have 64.97 percent weight in WPI index, eased to 3.41 percent in the month under review as compared to 5.27 percent recorded during the corresponding month of the previous year.

Primary articles, which have a 20.12 percent weight in WPI, eased to 5.75 percent in April, as compared to 9.55 percent in the corresponding month of last year.

The index for fuels and power, which have a 14.91 percent weight in the wholesale price index, grew by 8.84 percent from an acceleration of 12.10 percent in the corresponding month of last year.

India’s retail inflation too showed a trend of deceleration. The consumer price-based inflation (CPI) stood at 9.39 percent in April from 10.39 percent in March.

The following are the yearly rise and fall in prices of some main commodities that form the sub-index for food articles:

Onions: 91.69 percent

Vegetables: (-) 9.05 percent

Fruits: 0.71 percent

Potatoes: (-) 2.42 percent

Eggs, meat, fish: 10.44 percent

Cereals: 15.63 percent

Rice: 17.09 percent

Wheat: 13.89 percent

Pulses: 10.28 percent

— Indo-Asian News Service

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