POLL - WPI seen down 1.46 pct y/y as at July 18

MUMBAI Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:40pm IST

A vendor sprays water on vegetables to keep them fresh at a market in Siliguri July 6, 2009. India's wholesale price index (WPI) is forecast to have fallen 1.46 percent in the 12 months to July 18, steeper than the previous week's decline of 1.17 percent, a Reuters poll of 11 analysts showed on Wednesday. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A vendor sprays water on vegetables to keep them fresh at a market in Siliguri July 6, 2009. India's wholesale price index (WPI) is forecast to have fallen 1.46 percent in the 12 months to July 18, steeper than the previous week's decline of 1.17 percent, a Reuters poll of 11 analysts showed on Wednesday.

Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's wholesale price index (WPI) is forecast to have fallen 1.46 percent in the 12 months to July 18, steeper than the previous week's decline of 1.17 percent, a Reuters poll of 11 analysts showed on Wednesday.

It would be the seventh straight annual fall in the WPI but analysts said there would be a rise in the index week-over-week due to an uptick in manufacturing and primary articles.

They also said the follow-on effects of the fuel price increase in early July would push up the index.

The index has been rising on a weekly basis since March, but has remained negative in annual terms due to a sharp acceleration in prices last year.

"Primary and manufacturing are expected to move up on a week-on-week basis, but the base effect pulls it down despite the higher overall index," said Anubhuti Sahay, economist at Standard Chartered Bank.

The annual change in the WPI, the main measure of price pressures in India, fell below zero in early June for the first time since weekly data was released in the 1977/78 fiscal year.

Because the price index has been rising in recent months, economists and policy makers say the negative WPI readings reflect the statistical base effect and not a sharp contraction in demand.

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