A massive jump in food prices pushed up India’s wholesale price-indexed (WPI) inflation in August at 3.24 per cent to nearly double that of July, official data showed on Thursday.
According to data released by the Commerce Ministry, the annual rate of WPI inflation in July was at 1.88 per cent, while it was at 1.09 per cent during August 2016.
“The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 3.24 per cent (provisional) for the month of August, 2017 (over August, 2016) as compared to 1.88 per cent (provisional) for the previous month and 1.09 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year,” the Ministry said in the “Index Numbers of Wholesale Price in India” for August.
“Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 1.41 per cent compared to a build up rate of 3.25 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.”
Wholesale prices had accelerated in July to 1.88 per cent from June’s rise of 0.90 per cent and an increase of 2.26 per cent reported for May.
On a segment-wise basis, expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI’s total weightage, edged higher by 2.66 per cent from an increase of 0.46 per cent in July 2017.
However, the rise in WPI prices for primary articles during the month under review was slower on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, as it had risen by 4.78 per cent in August 2016.
The prices of food articles rose by 5.75 per cent from an acceleration of 2.15 per cent during July 2017 and a rise of 4.93 per cent in August 2016.
In terms of food prices, the YoY wholesale inflation rate for onion was higher by 88.46 per cent, whereas for potatoes it plunged by (-)43.82 per cent.
In contrast, overall vegetable prices in August rose by 44.91 per cent, against a fall of (-)7.75 per cent in the same month a year ago.
As per the data, on YoY basis, wheat became cheaper by (-)1.44 per cent, while protein-based food items such as eggs, meat and fish became dearer by 3.93 per cent.
Prices of other major group under the WPI — manufactured products — which comprise nearly 64.23 per cent of the index, rose by 2.45 per cent. The sub-category of manufactured food products registered a rise of 1.84 per cent.
The fuel and power price index’s inflation accelerated by 9.99 per cent.
Product-wise, the price of high-speed diesel rose by 20.30 per cent during August, while that for petrol climbed by 24.55 per cent, and for LPG by 5.33 per cent.