Wholesale inflation stood at 2.76 per cent in January, the government said on Thursday. That meant the rate of increase in wholesale prices eased from 3.8 per cent in the previous month. A smaller increase in prices of manufactured goods and fuel products led to the slowdown in inflation. At 2.76 per cent, inflation in the month of January also came below economists' estimates. Economists in a poll by news agency Reuters had expected the WPI inflation at 3.65 per cent.
The wholesale inflation - determined by Wholesale Price Index (WPI) - in January marked the lowest level recorded in 10 months, according to Reuters.
However, wholesale food inflation picked up to 1.84 per cent last month, from 0.07 per cent in the previous month, according to the Commerce and Industry Ministry statement.
Separate official data released earlier this week had shown that consumer inflation eased to its lowest level in 19 months, triggering hopes of further easing of the monetary policy by the central bank going forward.
Currently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tracks consumer inflation data primarily to formulate its monetary policy.
In its February 7 policy review statement, the RBI lowered the repo rate - the key interest rate at which it lends short-term funds to commercial banks - by 0.25 per cent, changing its stance to "neutral" from "calibrated tightening". A neutral stance allows the central bank to move either way on the monetary policy.
(With agency inputs)