The second straight month of deceleration in inflation as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) also gives a breather to the Reserve Bank, which has been trying to tame rising prices. (Agencies)
WPI inflation was at 6.16 percent in December compared to 7.52 percent in November. January's inflation rate is the slowest since May 2013, when wholesale prices increased 4.58 percent.
Inflation in food articles in January came down to 8.8 percent as against 13.68 per cent in the preceding month, according to data released on Friday.
"Food inflation remains elevated in spite of the overall favourable monsoon and agricultural production scenario, highlighting the demand-supply gaps and issues related to the supply chain," ICRA Senior Economist Aditi Nayar said.
As per the WPI data, prices of vegetables rose 16.6 percent in January compared with a 57.33 percent increase in December.
Onion prices climbed 6.59 per cent compared with a 39.56 percent increase in December. Potato prices climbed 21.73 percent in January.
Fruits were cheaper, as were protein-rich items such as eggs, meat and fish. However, inflation in milk inched up slightly to 7.22 percent in January.
Data released this week showed retail inflation declined to a two-year low of 8.79 per cent in January, while industrial output in December shrank 0.6 per cent, prompting calls by industry for an interest rate cut to boost growth.
"We must and very urgently concentrate on reviving growth for the manufacturing sector and lay special emphasis on resolving problems of the MSME sector also," FICCI president
Sidharth Birla said.
The second straight month of deceleration in inflation as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) also gives a breather to the Reserve Bank, which has been trying to tame rising prices.