India’s Wholesale Prices Fall for Seventh Consecutive Month

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The FINANCIAL — India’s wholesale price index fell for the seventh month in a row in May thanks in part to lower oil prices, according to Nasdaq.

The index fell 2.36% from the same month a year earlier, after declining 2.65% in April, government data showed on June 15. That was slightly less than the 2.5% decline forecast by economists in a poll by The Wall Street Journal.

Core inflation, after stripping away volatile food and energy prices, fell 0.6% in May, following a 0.5% decline in April. This provides “further evidence of slack in the economy,” said Shilan Shah, an economist at research firm Capital Economics.

Fuel prices fell 10.51% from a year earlier, although they were up 3.0% from April, reflecting a recent rebound in global crude-oil prices.

Food inflation also slowed to 3.8% year-over-year in May, from 5.73% in April.

The tempered food-price pressures suggest that concerns of a spike in prices following damage to crops due to untimely rains in February and March as well as forecasts of below-normal rainfall are proving to be exaggerated.

The latest data follow Friday’s consumer inflation numbers, which also showed food inflation eased to 4.80% year- over-year in May, adding to evidence that food prices may not rise as much as many feared even if India receives less rainfall this year.

The benchmark consumer inflation rate edged higher to 5.01% in May from 4.87% in April.


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