New Delhi, Dec 14: An exponential rise in food and fuel prices especially those of onions and diesel pushed India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices higher to 3.93 per cent for November, official data showed on Thursday.
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the wholesale price index (WPI) accelerated to 3.93 per cent in November from 3.59 per cent during October and 1.82 per cent during the corresponding month of 2016.
Reacting to the data, India Inc. said the rise in inflation was mainly driven by vegetables, onions, eggs, meat and fish, minerals, petrol and high speed diesel due to a decline in production and the resultant fall in the supply side.
On a sequential basis, the expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI’s total weightage, edged higher by 5.28 per cent, from an increase of 3.33 per cent in October.
The prices of food articles rose by 6.06 per cent from a rise of 4.30 per cent in October.
In terms of food prices, the YoY (Year-on-Year) wholesale inflation rate for onions was higher by 178.19 per cent, whereas for potatoes it plunged by (-)40.73 per cent.
In contrast, the overall vegetable prices in November rose by 59.80 per cent, against a fall of (-)17.31 per cent in the same month a year ago.
As per data, wheat became cheaper by (-)5.75 per cent on YoY basis and the prices of pulses came down by (-)35.48 per cent, but paddy became dearer by 2.90 per cent.
On the other hand, protein-based food items such as eggs, meat and fish became expensive by 4.73 per cent during the month under review.
Prices of the other major group under the WPI, manufactured products, which comprise nearly 64.23 per cent of the index, recorded a 2.61 per cent rise.
The sub-category of manufactured food products registered a rise of 0.47 per cent.
Similarly, fuel and power prices accelerated by 8.82 per cent.
Product-wise, the price of high-speed diesel rose by 11.63 per cent during November while that of petrol climbed by 10.57 per cent and for LPG by 31.30 per cent.
Expressing concern over the rise in wholesale inflation, industry body Assocham’s Secretary General D.S. Rawat said: “The continuous increase in the prices of petrol and high speed diesel due to rise in prices of crude oil globally have to be taken care of by the policy makers since it may have impact on import bills and subsequent impact on exchange rates.”
“… it may have negative impact on input prices for the industry which has already started to feel the pressure on its profitability.”