New Delhi: India’s wholesale prices fell more than estimated, in contrast with consumer-price gains, clouding the inflation outlook for central bank governor Raghuram Rajan before a 4 August policy review.

Wholesale price index (WPI)-based data showed prices fell 2.4% in June from a year ago, compared with a decline of 2.36% in May, the commerce ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The median of 28 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists predicted a 2.3% drop.

The numbers contrast with those for consumer prices, which rose more economists had predicted. Rajan reiterated this month that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will closely monitor monsoon data to ensure that the crucial June-September rainfall is enough to keep crop costs in check.

Food prices rose 2.88% in June from a year earlier, Tuesday’s data show. Manufactured product prices eased 0.77% and fuel and power dropped 10%.

Consumer price index (CPI) accelerated 5.4% in June, data showed on Monday, within Rajan’s target of 6% by January for the 10th straight month but more than the 5.1% increase predicted by economists. The central bank has said price gains will rise to about 6% by the start of next year. Bloomberg

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