The wholesale price index inflation, or WPI, for the month of February has come in flat at -0.91 percent, compared with January's -0.90 percent and -2.17 percent during the corresponding month of 2015. This marks the sixteenth straight month of decline.
A CNBC-TV18 poll had hinted at a contraction in WPI to -0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the ministry of commerce and industry has revised December WPI inflation to -1.06 percent from -0.73 percent reported earlier.
Primary articles, which is 20.12 percent of WPI, declined by 3.4 percent MoM. The index for 'Food Articles' group slipped by 3.2 percent in February due to lower price of fruits and vegetables (11 percent) compared to a 9 percent fall in vegetable prices in January, egg (6 percent), arhar and gram (5 percent each), coffee and moong (4 percent each), masur (3 percent), condiments and spices (2 percent) and wheat, jowar and fish-inland (1 percent each). Price of pulses too slipped by 3.7 percent MoM.
However, the price of certain food items such as barley (4 percent), fish-marine (3 percent), bajra (2 percent) and pork, ragi, maize and poultry chicken (1 percent each) moved up.
The 'non-food articles' index too has declined by 2.9 percent month-on-month.
Meanwhile, manufactured products, which carries the highest weightage of 64.97 percent in the WPI basket, has inched up by 0.3 percent, when compared to January. The index for 'Food Products' group rose by 0.8 percent due to higher price of vanaspati, sugar, gingelly oil and tea dust (unblended) and khandsari, sunflower oil, palm oil and canned fish. Though the price of tea dust (blended) and tea leaf (blended), mustard and rapeseed oil, processed prawn, tea leaf (unblended) and powder milk and mixed spices and gur has declined.
The 'Basic Metals, Alloys and Metal Products' index rose by 0.5 percent MoM due to higher price of gold and gold ornaments which rose 7 percent, followed by a rise steel rods' prices (5 percent). However, price of steel, iron castings and pig iron and GP/GC sheets, billets, melting scrap, ferro manganese, joist and beams, steel structures and pencil ingots, declined in February.
The index for 'Machinery & Machine Tools' group rose by 0.1 percent as prices of fibre optic cable, machine tools and grinding /wet coffee machinery, engines and ball/roller bearing and earth moving machinery rose in February.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Gaurav Kapur, senior economist at Royal Bank Of Scotland NV, says the numbers are in line with expectation. The past impact of oil price correction is keeping WPI in the negative territory, he adds. Also, the fact that pulse inflation is coming down is a heartening thing, he says.