India’s wholesale inflation eased slightly in April helped by a decline in fuel prices.
The wholesale price index rose 5.20% from a year earlier, slower than the 5.70% increase in March, commerce ministry data released Thursday showed. That was better than the median 5.80% rise predicted in a poll of 12 economists by The Wall Street Journal.
Economists are now watching for the onset of the June to September monsoon season to track the rainfall the country receives this year. India’s weather department has forecast below-normal rainfall, a prospect that could hurt farm output and push up food prices in coming months.
While wholesale inflation has eased, consumer inflation in April wasn’t as encouraging.
Government data released Monday showed inflation at the retail level accelerated to 8.59% on-year from 8.31% in March.
Economists say the central bank will be under pressure to keep interest rates elevated as inflation is still moderately higher than the 8% level it wants to bring it down to by January 2015.