WPI inflation at 6-month high of 3.59%; onion, veggies costlier

New Delhi: Inflation at the wholesale level rose to a 6-month high of 3.59 percent in October as the prices of food articles, led by onions and vegetables, rose sharply. Inflation, based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was2.60 percent in September. In October last year, it was 1.27 percent. Last month’s inflation was the highest since April when it was 3.85 percent.

The government data released today showed that inflation in food articles more than doubled to 4.30 percent in October. For vegetables, it soared to 36.61 percent last month as against 15.48 percent in September. In case of onions, inflation skyrocketed to 127.04 percent, while for the eggs, meat and fish segment the rate of price rise was 5.76 percent.

Inflation in manufactured products saw a slight dip to2.62 per cent, as against 2.72 percent in September. In the fuel and power segment, inflation rose to 10.52per cent, as against 9.01 percent in September. Fuel inflation has remained high for the past three months as petrol and diesel prices continued to rule high tracking global crude oil rates.

Power tariffs shot through the roof on lower domestic production. Pulses continued to witness deflation at 31.05 percent.Likewise, in potato deflation was at 44.29 percent and wheat at 1.9percentnt. The final print of August WPI inflation remainedunchanged at 3.24 per cent. As per the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data releasedyesterday, retail inflation for October rose to a 7-month highof 3.58 per cent on costlier food items, especiallyvegetables.

Besides, industrial production for September expanded at3.8 per cent, on poor showing by the manufacturing sectorcoupled with decline in consumer durables output. Last month, the Reserve Bank kept benchmark interest rateunchanged on fears of rising inflation while lowering growthforecast to 6.7 per cent for the current fiscal. RBI also raised its inflation forecast to the 4.2-4.6 percent range for the rest of the current fiscal as against 4-4.5per cent previously.

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