Spike in veggie prices leads to jump in WPI to 6-month high

RSTV Bureau
Representational Image of an Indian fruits and vegetables market.

Representational Image of an Indian fruits and vegetables market.

Inflation at the wholesale price level rose to 6-month high of 3.59 per cent in October, a near 1 per cent point jump from September, which was 2.60 per cent. The increase is attributed mainly to the jump in the prices of food articles, especially the onions and vegetables, which rose sharply.

Last month’s inflation was the highest since April, when it was 3.85 per cent. In October last year, it was 1.27 per cent.

The government data released today showed that inflation in food articles more than doubled to 4.30 per cent in October. For vegetables, it soared to 36.61 per cent last month as against 15.48 per cent in September.

In case of onions, inflation skyrocketed to 127.04 per cent, while for the eggs, meat and fish segment the rate of price rise was 5.76 per cent.

Inflation in manufactured products saw a slight dip to 2.62 per cent, as against 2.72 per cent in September, whereas in fuel and power segment, inflation rose to 10.52 per cent, as against 9.01 per cent in September.

Fuel inflation has remained high for the past three months as petrol and diesel prices continued to rule high tracking global crude oil rates. Power tariffs shot through the roof on lower domestic production.

Pulses continued to witness deflation at 31.05 per cent. Likewise, in potato deflation was at 44.29 per cent and wheat at 1.99 per cent.

The final print of August WPI inflation remained unchanged at 3.24 per cent.

As per the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released on Monday, retail inflation for October rose to a 7-month high of 3.58 per cent on costlier food items, especially vegetables.

Besides, industrial production for September expanded at 3.8 per cent, on poor showing by the manufacturing sector coupled with decline in consumer durables output.

Last month, the Reserve Bank kept benchmark interest rate unchanged on fears of rising inflation while lowering growth forecast to 6.7 per cent for the current fiscal.

RBI also raised its inflation forecast to the 4.2-4.6 per cent range for the rest of the current fiscal as against 4-4.5 per cent previously.

(With inputs from PTI)