New Delhi: The WPI-based inflation fell to 4.7 percent in May, driven mainly by declining prices of manufactured items, even as prices of food articles inched up. Inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) stood at 4.89 percent in April. In May, 2012, it was 7.55 percent.
    
As per official data released on Friday, WPI inflation in the manufactured items category declined to 3.11 percent in May from 3.41 percent in April. The non-food articles category, which include fibre, oil seeds and minerals, saw sharp decline in inflation to 4.88 percent, from 7.59 percent in April.
    
However, inflation in food articles category, which has a 14.34 percent share in the WPI basket, rose to 8.25 percent in May. Inflation in this category was at 6.08 percent in April. The rise in food inflation was on account of increase in prices of onions, vegetables, cereals and protein-based items.
     
Inflation in vegetables stood at 4.85 percent in May, against (-) 9.05 percent in the previous month. The rate of price rise in onion was high at 97.40 percent for the month, as against inflation rate of 91.69 percent in April.
    
Inflation for March was revised downwards to 5.65 percent from 5.96 percent as per provisional estimates. The inflation data would be closely watched by the Reserve Bank while formulating its mid-quarter policy which is scheduled on Monday.
     
There have been demands for a lower interest rate in the backdrop of declining inflation. Finance Ministry sources, commenting on inflation numbers, said they would want lower interest rates and monetary policy transmission.
     
While the Reserve Bank has lowered interest rates by 1.30 percent since January 2012, the banks have cut lending rates by only 0.30 percent.



(Agencies)

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