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Wholesale inflation rises to 4-month high of 3.18% in April

Wholesale inflation rises to 4-month high of 3.18% in April

An exponential rise in food and fuel prices lifted India's wholesale inflation rate to 3.18 per cent in April from a rise of 2.47 per cent in the previous month, official data showed here on Monday.

The rate of inflation based on WPI Food Index consisting of Food Articles from Primary Articles group and Food Product from Manufactured Products group increased from (-) 0.07 per cent in March 2018 to 0.67 per cent in April 2018.

A key data factored in by RBI while deciding on the policy interest rate, retail inflation has consistently remained above the central bank's comfort level of 4 per cent since November 2017. It had projected CPI inflation for April-September, the first half of 2018-19 fiscal, at 4.7-5.1 per cent.

Index for "Minerals" group rose by 1.6 percent to 121.6 (provisional) from 119.7 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of manganese ore (4%), copper concentrate and limestone (3% each) and zinc concentrate and lead concentrate (1% each).

India's annual wholesale price inflation eased in January for the second. It touched a high of $78 this month.

According to government data released today, inflation in food articles was at 0.87 per cent in April 2018, as against a deflation of 0.29 per cent in the preceding month.

The data revealed that inflation in the fuel and light segment also came in lower at 5.24 per cent month-on-month basis. While pulses have been witnessing deflation for months now, the rate of deflation, rose in April to 22.46 per cent, up from 20.58 per cent in March.

A rise in food, fuel, housing and services cost pushed India's annual wholesale and retail inflation rates higher in April.

As the payment for oil increases, India's current account deficits are prone to widen making the economy more vulnerable to rising USA interest rates.

On a sub-category basis, vegetables in April became costly by 7.29 per cent, while prices of milk-based products rose by 3.21 per cent.

Other categories, however, recorded an increase in inflation. Prices of high-speed diesel rose twice as fast at 13 per cent and petrol prices rose by 9.45 per cent, up from the 2.55 per cent rise seen in March.

India Ratings' chief economist Devendra Kumar Pant said housing and rising oil prices are likely to keep pressure on headline inflation in the coming months.

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