WPI again on the upswing

15 April 2014

India's Wholesale Price Index (WPI), breaking a three-month downward trend, accelerated to a high of 5.70 per cent in March, driven up by increases in food and  fuel costs, government data showed on Tuesday.

In February, the WPI, long seen as India's main inflation measure, rose 4.68 per cent, its slowest pace in nine months. The final WPI reading for January was 5.17 per cent.

The rising WPI was again attributable to food prices, which rose 9.9 per cent year-on-year last month, faster than an annual rise of 8.12 per cent in February.

As per the data released by the Central Statistical Office, the January inflation number has been revised upward to 5.17% as against earlier estimate of 5.05%.

 In March, the price rise in potato was 27.83 per cent as against 8.36 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in onion was 1.92 in March, the last month of the 2013-14 financial year, compared to contraction in price of the kitchen staple in the previous month.

Overall the inflation in the vegetables segment was 8.57 per cent compared to about 4 per cent in February. Fruits were costlier by 16.15 per cent in March compared to 9.92 per cent in the previous month

The government further said the build-up of the inflation rate in 2013-14 was 5.70 compared to a build up rate of 5.65 per cent in the earlier fiscal.

The data further revealed that prices of sugar, pulses, cereals, cement and minerals eased in March compared to the previous month.

Inflation in the fuel and power category (LPG, petrol and diesel) rose to 11.22 per cent against 8.75 per cent in February.

The CSO is scheduled to release data for retail inflation calculated on Consumer Price Index (CPI) later today.

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