NEW DELHI: Higher prices of fruits and vegetables pushed up wholesale inflation to a six-month high of 3.59 per cent in October, data released on Tuesday showed. Wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation was 2.6 per cent in September 2017 and 1.27 per cent in October 2016. Consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation had indicated that retail inflation for October had risen to 3.58 per cent on costlier food items.
Wholesale food prices in October were up by 3.23 per cent year-on-year, against a 1.99 per cent rise a month earlier. While pulses continued to witness deflation at 31.05 per cent, the deflation in potato was at 44.29 per cent while it was 1.99 per cent for wheat. WPI measures and tracks the changes in the price of goods before it is sold at the retail level. WPI shows the average price change of goods included in the index and is often expressed as a ratio or percentage, and the change is one indicator of a country’s level of inflation.
The WPI data is based on the revised series. The WPI series in India has undergone six revisions in 1952-53, 1961-62, 1970-71, 1981-82, 1993-94 and 2004-05 so far. The current series is the seventh revision. The revision entails shifting the base year to 2011-12 from 2004-05, changing the basket of commodities and assigning new weights to the commodities.
The October 2017 data showed that inflation went up in the fuel and power to 10.52 per cent, against 9.01 per cent in September. This can be attributed to the higher prices of petrol and diesel in the last quarter. Power tariffs also went up due to lower domestic production.
The impact of poor performance manufacturing sector and decline in consumer durable output was reflected in the industrial production for September, which expanded at 3.8 per cent. The Reserve Bank of India had also raised its inflation forecast to the 4.2-4.6 per cent range for the rest of the current fiscal against 4-4.5 per cent previously.