India’s Wholesale Inflation Eases To 10.7 Per Cent

India’s wholesale price-based (WPI) inflation eased in September for the fourth consecutive month to 10.7 per cent on softening in prices of food, fuel, and manufactured items, according to a release by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry on Friday. According to the data, the WPI inflation was 12.41 per cent in August and 11.80 per cent in September last year. This year, the wholesale price index touched a record high of 15.88 per cent in May.

September is the 18th consecutive month of double-digit WPI inflation.

“Inflation in September, 2022 is primarily contributed by rise in prices of mineral oils, food articles, crude petroleum & natural gas, chemicals & chemical products, basic metals, electricity, textiles etc. as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year,” an official statement said.

According to the government data, food inflation based on WPI Food Index decreases from 9.93 per cent in August, 2022 to 8.08 per cent in September, 2022. However, inflation in vegetables rose to 39.66 per cent during the month, as against 22.29 per cent in August.

In the fuel and power basket, inflation came in lower at 32.61 per cent in September, against 33.67 per cent in August.

In manufactured products and oil seeds it was 6.34 per cent and (-) 16.55 per cent, respectively. The RBI mainly looks at retail inflation to frame monetary policy.

Meanwhile, India’s CPI-based retail inflation surged to 7.41 per cent in September from 7 per cent in the preceding month, mainly because of costlier food items. On the other hand, factory output contracted 0.8 per cent in August, according to a data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed on Wednesday.

Retail inflation remained above the Reserve Bank’s upper tolerance threshold of 6 per cent for the ninth month in a row and was at a 5-month high of 7.41 per cent in September.

To tame stubbornly high inflation, the RBI has hiked the key interest rate four times this year to 5.90 per cent, the highest since April 2019.