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Ashoka University’s CEDA develops first-of-its-kind Daily Food Price Index (DFPI) to track food inflation in India

The new Daily Food Price Index (DFPI) index tracks inflation in retail and wholesale food markets in real-time.

Office of PR & Communications

3 June, 2022 | 4m read

Centre for Economic Data & Analysis (CEDA) at Ashoka University has developed a new Daily Food Price Index (DFPI) to track inflation in retail and wholesale food markets. It is a first-of-its-kind index in India that reports on food inflation on a real-time basis. The existing Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Wholesale Price Index (WPI) are released on a monthly and yearly basis.

“The recent surge in food prices due to factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing conflict in Ukraine reflect the rapidity with which situations that affect the economy can develop. In this context, having access to more real-time data can facilitate timely market interventions and decisions related to price regulation,” said Dr Ashwini Deshpande, Director, CEDA. 

“A delay in publication of data, and subsequent delay in policymaking, often carries a cost. Thus, the DFPI developed by CEDA would be a great public resource for policymakers, researchers and journalists,” she added.

CEDA’s Daily Food Prices Tool is a tracker that allows users to track inflation in real time at a granular level, as it has retail and wholesale commodity prices of 22 essential commodities for 179 centres across India. 

With CEDA’s Daily Food Prices Tool, users can track changes at daily/7-day moving average/monthly levels, for individual commodities (e.g. mustard oil, atta or masoor dal, among others) or commodity groups (edible oils, grains or pulses etc). Users can choose multiple commodities or multiple zones or centres within zones and create quick visualisations, as well as download the data. See the tool here

Based on this data, CEDA has created the DFPI which is available in two modes: daily and monthly. It allows tracking the index for separate food items such as grains, pulses, edible oil or vegetables through easy, query-based visualisations. Users can also download the underlying raw data at the commodity-centre-zone level.

The DFPI utilises data collated by the Price Monitoring Cell – a division under the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India – on daily retail and wholesale prices of 22 commodities from 179 centres spread across India. Research shows that it has strong positive correlation with CPI-food (0.975) and WPI- food (0.98), therefore it has the capacity to provide accurate as well as valuable insights, can act as a good measure to track daily food price trends in the country. 

The DFPI can be accessed here after registration. 

About Centre for Economic Data & Analysis:

The Economics Department of Ashoka University has set up the Centre for Economic Data and Analysis (CEDA) with the primary aim of facilitating informed debate about economic and social developments in India. CEDA also aims to directly contribute to public discussions on policy relevant issues by generating written content in the form of blog posts, summaries of research papers, commentaries on economic and social issues etc.

About Ashoka University: 

Ashoka is India’s premier liberal arts university located in the National Capital Region, New Delhi. Ashoka University is built on the finest global best practices of institution and university governance. Accomplished leaders, philanthropists, thinkers, and academicians with expertise in varied fields have come together to create the university. It brings the best contemporary values and practices in higher education, in the tradition of the world’s leading universities, to India. With a strong emphasis on multi-disciplinary learning, development of skills and leadership attributes for 21st century, Ashoka is preparing students to be critical thinkers and ethical leaders in an increasingly diverse world. It is a private, non-profit University, established under the Haryana Private Universities Act, 2006, having its place of business at 2 Rajiv Gandhi Education City, Sonipat, Haryana 131029 in India.

For further information, visit www.ashoka.edu.in

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