Inflation likely to ease to 6.5% by March-end: PMEAC

Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News

Prime Minister’s key economic advisor C Rangarajan hoped that inflation will come down to 6.5% by end-March and suggested that steps should be taken to release more food stocks to ease price pressure. The wholesale price index-based (WPI) inflation eased to 6.62% in January, from 7.18% in December, 2012, as per official data. “The decline in inflation is a welcome and reassuring sign. I expect March end inflation to be 6.5%,” said Dr. Rangarajan, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman, adding that January inflation has moderated more than expected. This is the fourth straight month of decline in the WPI numbers. Retail inflation, however, remained in double digits at 10.79% in January mainly on account of higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, cereals and protein-based items. Dr. Rangarajan said with the moderation in manufacture or core inflation in January, there was a need to focus on supply side easing of food articles. Inflation in manufactured items category witnessed a decline and stood at 4.81% in January, from 5.04% in the previous month.