Wholesale deflation came in at 3.21 per cent In May, government data showed on Monday. The data on wholesale deflation - or the rate of decrease in wholesale prices - comes days after the government put off the release of headline consumer price inflation numbers for April and May due to inadequate data collection on account of the weeks-long countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Wholesale price inflation was at by 1 per cent in March, the last month for which the wholesale inflation figures were released by the government.
The provisional figures for May were compared with the final figures for March due to limited information available for April, the government said in a statement.
Last Friday, data on headline consumer inflation for April and May, as well as industrial output in April, were not released. The Statistics Ministry said the release was suspended "in view of the continued limited transactions of products in the market" during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown and problems in collecting of adequate data.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tracks data on consumer inflation - or the rate of increase in retail prices determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) - primarily for formulating monetary policy.
Last month, the central bank lowered the repo rate - the key interest rate at which it lends short-term funds to commercial banks - to 4 per cent, the lowest since 2000, to prop up the economy following an emergency meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the economy was expected to contract in the current financial year.