Wholesale inflation in the country rose in September due to rising food prices ahead of the festival season. Wholesale inflation - or the rate of increase in wholesale rates of essential commodities - came in at 1.32 per cent last month, increasing from 0.16 per cent in August, government data released on Wednesday showed. That marked a second straight month in which wholesale prices moved higher, amid supply disruptions despite strategic lifting of restrictions imposed in late-March to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Till August, wholesale inflation, measured by the Wholesale Price Index WPI, had remained in the negative territory (deflation) for four months in a row. Wholesale deflation was estimated at 1.57 per cent in April, 3.37 per cent in May, 1.81 per cent in June and 0.58 per cent in July.
In September, wholesale inflation in food articles stood at 8.17 per cent, in contrast with 3.84 per cent in the previous month, the data showed.
While the rates of cereals declined 3.91 per cent last month, those of pulses climbed up 12.53 per cent.
Wholesale inflation in vegetables came in at 36.54 per cent in September thanks to a 107.63 per cent surge in potato rates, the data showed. However, onion prices eased 31.64 per cent, providing some respite to the overall WPI reading.
In the manufactured products category, wholesale inflation rose to 1.61 per cent in September from 1.27 per cent in the previous month.
Separate data released on Monday showed consumer inflation - gauged by the Consumer Price Index, and measuring the rate of increase in retail prices of commodities, jumped to 7.34 per cent in September, its highest level recorded since January, increasing chances of a further delay in a rate cut by the central bank to bolster the shrinking economy.
The RBI tracks consumer inflation primarily for formulating its monetary policy.