India’s October wholesale price index falls 0.52% y/y

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India’s wholesale price index (INWPI=ECI) in October fell 0.52% from a year earlier, staying in negative territory for the seventh straight month on weaker manufacturing and a moderation in food prices, according to government data on Tuesday.

The fall in the index was steeper than a decline of 0.20% expected by economists polled by Reuters. It fell 0.26% in September.

In October, fuel and power prices fell 2.47% from a year earlier, compared with a 3.35% drop in September. Prices of primary articles were up 1.82% versus a rise of 3.70% a month earlier.

Food prices rose 1.07% year-on-year compared with a rise of 1.54% in September, while manufactured product prices fell 1.13% against a 1.34% fall the previous month.

Data on Monday showed India’s retail inflation eased in October to a four-month low, edging closer to the central bank’s target of 4%, which it has said needs to be firmly in sight before it can start lowering interest rates.

Last week, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das highlighted risks from a spike in food prices saying India was vulnerable to “recurring and overlapping” food price shocks despite the recent moderation in inflation.

(Reporting by Shivangi Acharya and Sarita Changanti Singh; Editing by Kim Coghill)