India's December wholesale inflation eases to nearly a 2-year low

Labourer carries sack of onions at wholesale market in Kolkata

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's annual wholesale price inflation (WPI) eased to its lowest levels in nearly two years, helped by a sharp fall in vegetable prices.

Government data on Monday showed WPI inflation for December was 4.95% year-on-year, lower than the Reuters forecast of 5.60% and 5.85% recorded in the previous month.

Food index rose 0.65% in December, with prices of vegetables falling nearly 36% year-on-year. In November, the food index rose 2.17%. Inflation on manufactured products eased to 3.37% in December from 10.71% in the prior month.

"Low manufacturing inflation is a reflection of cooling global commodity prices. This will continue as the world moves further to recession," said Madan Sabnavis, economist at Bank of Baroda.

December WPI inflation was lowest since February 2021, according to Refinitiv data.

Last week, the country's annual retail inflation edged down to remain within central bank's comfort zone for the second consecutive month.

(Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Nikunj Ohri; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Simon Cameron-Moore)