Inflation could ease further in coming months, says Montek

Inflation could ease further in coming months, says Montek New Delhi: With inflation declining to below 6 percent in March after over three years, Planning Commission Monday exuded confidence that the price situation would improve further in the coming months.

"The fact that this is the first time (in over 3 years) it is below 6 percent, is very important and I hope that we will continue to see that often", Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters here.

Declining price of vegetables pulled down inflation to 5.96 percent in March.

Inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) stood at 6.84 percent in February. In March, 2012, it was 7.69 percent. The 5.96 percent March-end inflation is much lower than Reserve Bank's projection of 6.8 percent.

"I have to say that monthly numbers can jump around but it has been our view that in a gradual way inflationary pressure is coming down", Ahluwalia said.

However, the wholesale inflation for January was revised upwards to 7.31 percent, from 6.62 percent as per provisional estimates.

On the revision of January numbers, he said, "These monthly numbers, our systems are not so robust that you don't get a correction."

"If January number has been revised upward then the extent of slowing down of inflation is greater than the unrevised numbers show. I don't think one month (swallow) makes a summer", he pointed out.

According to Ahluwalia, inflation behaviour is consistent with what government has been saying that it is slowly coming under control.

PTI