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India’s May WPI contracts by 3.21%

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India’s inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) contracted by 3.21% in May. The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) resumed releasing detailed wholesale price index (WPI) data after suspending it for a month.

DPIIT in the commerce ministry could not collect wholesale price data for April due to the nationwide lockdown imposed since 25 March to contain spread of the coronavirus.

“This department has advised the field offices to collect price data through electronic means of the communication during the lockdown. The response rate for April 2020 has improved substantially. Final index for the month of April 2020 will be released in next month press note in the light of the updated data received from the selected sources,” DPIIT said in a statement.

In May, both fuel and manufactured price inflation turned negative due to falling crude oil prices and companies losing pricing power amid fall in demand, respectively.

Food inflation also eased to 1.13% in May from 2.55% in the preceding month.

The National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday did not release the headline retail inflation data, based on consumer price index (CPI), for May citing lack of information.

However, it said retail food inflation in May was at 9.28%, compared to 10.5% a month ago. The increase in petrol and diesel prices for the ninth consecutive on Monday is expected to push retail inflation higher in June. However, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is focusing on reviving economic activity in the country, most analysts expect the central bank to further cut policy rate.

While urban retail food inflation was at 8.36% in May, that of rural areas was 9.69% in the previous month.

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