Wholesale inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) stood at 5.13 per cent in September as compared to 4.53 per cent in August, provisional government data showed on Monday. Wholesale inflation in the corresponding period of last year was at 3.14 per cent. September's 5.13 per cent wholesale inflation is the highest in two months, and a higher inflation than this level was last seen in July at 5.27 per cent, reported news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).
The WPI rose by 0.7 per cent to 120.8 (provisional) from 120.0 (provisional) for the previous month. The index for primary articles, which has a weightage of 22.62 per cent, rose by 0.2 per cent to 135.4 from 135.1 in August, showed data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The index for 'Food Articles' group declined by 0.2 per cent to 144.5 from 144.8 in the previous month due to lower prices of fish-marine (12 per cent), egg and urad (3 per cent each), gram and ragi (2 per cent each) and fruits and vegetables and peas/chawali (1 per cent each).
(Wholesale inflation in September last year was at 3.14 per cent.)
However, the price of betel leaves (18 per cent), tea and pork (4 per cent each), beef and buffalo meat and bajra (3 per cent each), fish-inland, condiments and spices, maize and poultry chicken (2 per cent each) and arhar, barley, mutton, wheat, masur and moong (1 per cent each) moved up.
The index for fuel and power, with a weightage of 13.2 per cent, rose by 2.2 per cent to 107.2 (provisional) from 104.9 (provisional) in August. Individually, in petrol and diesel it was 17.21 per cent and 22.18 per cent, respectively, and for LPG it was 33.51 per cent as compared to September 2017.
Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA, said wholesale inflation would continue to rise in October. "While crude oil prices have cooled in the recent sessions, and the excise duty and VAT (value-added tax) cuts would provide some relief for fuel prices, a weaker INR would continue to push up the WPI inflation in the ongoing month. This remains a crucial risk for the CPI inflation trajectory as well," she said.
"Moreover, the sharp narrowing in the disinflation for primary food items, led by cereals, fruits, vegetables, condiments and spices, and tea, may be a precursor to a rise in the retail food inflation in the ongoing month."
Meanwhile, wholesale inflation for the month of July was revised to 5.27 per cent as compared to 5.09 per cent (provisional) reported on August 14.
On Friday, retail inflation for September rose to 3.77 per cent as compared to 3.69 per cent in August. This was the second consecutive month in which consumer inflation stayed below the central bank's medium-term target of 4 per cent.
The RBI mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy. (With PTI inputs)