India's wholesale price index (WPI) contracted by 3.21 per cent in May, data released by the federal commerce and industry ministry on Monday said.
"The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at (-3.21 per cent) (provisional) for the month of May, 2020 (over May 2019) as compared to 2.79 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year," a statement issued by the ministry said.
According to the official data, the official WPI for 'All Commodities' (Base: 2011-12=100) for the month of May, 2020 declined by (-2.24 per cent) to 117.7 (provisional) from 120.4 (final) for the month of March, 2020, reports Xinhua.
"This department has advised the field offices to collect price data through electronic means of communication during the lockdown. The response rate for April 2020 has improved substantially.
Final index for the month of April 2020 will be released in next month press note in the light of the updated data received from the selected sources," the ministry said.
The index for primary articles declined by (-0.87 per cent) to 136.2 (provisional) in May 2020 from 137.4 (final) for the month of March, 2020.
Prices of Food Articles (0.73 per cent) increased whereas prices of Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas (-23.18 per cent) and Non Food Articles (-1.44 per cent) declined as compared to March 2020.
The ministry said food index consisting of 'Food Articles' from primary articles group and 'Food Product' from Manufactured Products group have provisionally increased from 145.7 in March, 2020 to 146.1 in May, 2020.
The annual rate of inflation based on WPI Food Index decreased from 5.20 per cent in March, 2020 to 2.31 per cent in May, 2020.
Wholesale inflation - or the rate of increase in wholesale prices - is determined by the WPI.
Last month the government released a shortened data for April WPI saying there was a limited transaction of products in the market due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent imposition of lockdown.