WPI inflation to ease to 6-7% in 3 months

WPI inflation to ease to 6-7% in 3 months

New Delhi: India’s wholesale price inflation is expected to fall to 6-7% within three months, the finance ministry’s chief economic adviser said on Thursday, easing from the 17-month high of 9.90% hit in March.

“At 6-7% actually; I would expect within next three months," Kaushik Basu said when asked by when he expects the headline inflation to slacken pace.

He added that the worst of inflation was over.

“My expectation is we are on downward but fluctuating trend for the next three months and then a sharper decline," Basu told reporters, while releasing a United Nations agency survey of Asia-Pacific economies.

But, any rise in global commodity prices like steel and iron ore could put upward pressure on local prices, he added.

India’s annual wholesale inflation rose to 9.90% in March, compared with 9.89% rise in February and 1.20% a year ago.

Monthly inflation data for April is scheduled to be released on 14 May.

Basu said the headline inflation was likely to come down further by end-March 2011 due to fiscal and monetary measures taken by India.

The Indian central bank has projected a March end headline inflation at 5.5%.

India’s food price index rose an annual 16.04% in the 12 months to 24 April, while the fuel price index rose an annual 12.69%, government data showed on Thursday.

The rise in the food price index was slower than an annual rise of 16.61% in the previous week.