Inflation, as measured by the wholesale price index (WPI), was 1% in March, down from 2.26% in February.
“In view of the limited transactions of products in the wholesale market in the month of April, 2020, due to spread of Covid-19 pandemic, it has been decided to release the price movement of selected Sub-groups/Groups of WPI, following the principles of adequacy,” the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the National Statistical Office (NSO) suspended the release of headline retail inflation number for April for the same reason. Retail food inflation picked up in April to 10.5% from 8.76% in March.
As per the statement, the price collection of manufactured products to estimate WPI through personal visits of officials was suspended from March 19 due to the preventive measures and announcement of nationwide lockdown by the government to contain spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
“The data (ex-factory prices) was collected through electronic means of communications from selected factories and institutional sources. The Price Movement of these Sub-groups/Groups of WPI was worked out by taking the prices of only those items for which at least 25% of price quotations were reported from the selected manufacturing units,” the ministry said.
Out of the 22 NIC two-digit groups for manufactured products, indices were compiled only for five manufacturing groups- food products; beverages; chemicals and chemical products; pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical and botanical products; and basic metals.
Wholesale fuel inflation contracted 10.1% from a 1.76% shrinkage a month ago while the price movement of primary articles shrank 0.79% in April against 3.72% inflation a month ago.