The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) has garnered attention recently as it remains in the negative zone for the second consecutive month. This index, which reflects producer inflation, is considered more of an academic interest than a direct influence on overall policy since the adoption of targeted inflation in 2016. However, it is crucial to note that the WPI reflects whether producers are receiving fair prices for their goods. In this News Explained podcast, Nabodita Ganguly is joined by Shishir Sinha, Associate Editor, who explains the recent fall in WPI.

The current deflationary trend indicates that prices are decreasing, particularly in sectors such as fuel and energy, including mineral oil, as well as food prices. This deflationary pressure has led to consecutive months of WPI deflation, with expectations that the trend will persist in June as well. The impact of WPI deflation on retail inflation will take some time to materialise, as lower prices received by producers eventually translate to reduced prices for consumers.

With the WPI currently low, achieving the Reserve Bank of India’s target of 4% for retail inflation may become easier. Experts anticipate that the deflationary trend will continue for the first half of the fiscal year, with some improvement expected in the second half. The overall expectation for the fiscal year is for the WPI to range between 1% and 2%. A decline in wholesale inflation has implications for retail inflation, as lower retail inflation may lead to a pause in the Reserve Bank of India’s policy cycle or potential reductions in the future.

This suggests a moderation in retail inflation in the coming days. Experts believe that the pause in policy may continue for the next few review cycles, potentially resulting in a reduction in the first policy review of FY 2425, which is expected shortly. However, such changes would require a wait of at least nine months. To summarise, while the WPI may have a limited impact on the common man, its deflationary trend has broader implications for retail inflation and policy decisions. Read the full story ⁠here⁠.