Wholesale inflation surges to 6-month high

An Indian customer purchases vegetables at a market

An Indian customer purchases vegetables at a market

New Delhi, Nov 14 Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg today attributed the rise in both wholesale and retail inflation numbers to seasonal factors and expressed hope that the rate of price rise would remain below the 4 per cent limit for the fiscal.

Inflation at the wholesale level accelerated to 3.59% in October, a six-month high, on the back of quickening food price inflation and firming oil prices, according to official data released by the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.

Government data showed that inflation in food articles more than doubled to 4.30 per cent in October.

For vegetables, it soared to 36.61 percent last month as against 15.48 percent in September.

However, inflation in manufactured products saw a slight dip to 2.62 percent, as against 2.72 percent in September. Last month's inflation was the highest since April, when it was 3.85 per cent.

Among primary articles, inflation rate for the "food articles" group rose 2.2 per cent due to higher prices of fruits and vegetables, poultry chicken, egg, condiments and spices, barley and paddy.

The index for "Mineral Oils" group rose by 3.9 percent to 82.2 (provisional) from 79.1 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of LPG (9 per cent), naphtha, petroleum coke and ATF (8 per cent each), furnace oil (7 per cent), kerosene (5 per cent) and bitumen, HSD and petrol (2 per cent each).

In the fuel and power segment, inflation rose to 10.52 percent, as against 9.01 percent in September.

It was 4.2 percent in October a year ago.

The index for "Manufacture of Textiles" group declined by 0.2 per cent to 113.2 (provisional) from 113.4 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of cotton yarn (2 per cent) and woollen yarn (1 per cent).

The sub-category of manufactured food products registered a rise of 1.26 per cent.

For the "manufacture of machinery and equipment" group, it rose 0.8 per cent due to higher prices of pressure vessel and tank for fermentation and other food processing, precision machinery equipment/form tools, chillers, open end spinning machinery, printing machinery and pharmaceutical machinery, roller and ball bearings, manufacture of bearings, gears, gearing and driving elements and air filters and industrial valve, agriculture implements, concrete vibrator and mixture, air or vacuum pump, material handling, lifting and hoisting equipment, sewing machines, centrifugal pumps and cranes. The manufacturing sector is showing signs of recovery and it is important to support this improvement through all policy levers.

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