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Wholesale inflation hit a 13-month high in April

April marks the sixth successive month that the Wholesale Price Index has risen on a year-on-year basis. Representational file image.

Inflation in India’s wholesale prices rose to a 13-month high of 1.26% in April, from 0.53% in March, owing to an uptick in food inflation and a 1.4% year-on-year rise in fuel and power prices after several months of deflation.

April marks the sixth successive month that the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) has risen on a year-on-year basis, after seven months of deflation. On a month-on-month basis, the WPI was up 0.8% with primary articles and food prices rising nearly 2% in April, while manufactured products were up 0.5%.

Also read | Food inflation scaled 4-month peak of 8.7% in April

The price rise in primary food articles picked up from 6.88% in March to a four-month high of 7.74% in April, despite a slight easing in cereals and pulses inflation which stood at 8.7% and 16.6%, respectively, as vegetables inflation spurted to 23.6% from 19.5% in March.

Potatoes, onions report sharp inflation

Potatoes and onions reported a sharp surge in inflation, hitting 72% and 59.8%, respectively, from 53% and 57% in March. Paddy inflation also gained momentum, rising over 12%, while price rise in eggs, meat and fish stood at 0.9% compared with a 1.86% decline in prices in March. At the retail level, inflation in eggs was 7.1% while meat and fish prices had raced past 8% in April.

The rise in wheat and milk prices eased a little to 5.7% and 4.3%, respectively, while fruit prices were down 1.8% from last April.

The Wholesale Food Index rose 5.5%, compared with 4.65% in March, while the decline in manufactured products’ prices eased to 0.4% in April from 0.8% in the previous month. Inflation in primary articles also moved up from 4.5% in March to 5% last month, indicating a broad-based reversal of wholesale price trends. 

As many as 11 of 17 manufactured products tracked for the WPI, recorded lower prices than a year ago, although the price decline in edible oils shrank to 5% in April, a multiple-month low, from over 8% in March.

Prices rose 1.25% and 1.6% for food products and beverages, respectively, while wearing apparel prices were up 2.34%, the fastest pace in at least six months.

Crude petroleum and natural gas inflation moved up from 4.87% in March to 4.97% in April, while Fuel and Power inflation turned positive after months, with the decline in diesel prices slipping to 1.86% from 3.5% in March.

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