India's Wholesale Inflation Eases to 5-Month Low in November

Posted December 15, 2016

"Wholesale price inflation (WPI) inflation eased to 3.2% y/y in November, from 3.4% y/y in October". The inflation of manufactured items was caused by a rapid rise in the prices of basic metal products, chemical products and food products derived from raw materials.

In contrast, the inflation rate for potatoes on November-on-November basis stood at a 36.97 per cent, while that for pulses stood at 21.73 per cent.

In September, wholesale food prices rose 1.54 percent year-on-year, compared with a provisional 4.34 percent gain in October.

That, in turn, has resulted in wholesale prices rising just 3.15 per cent in November compared with 3.39 per cent in October as the lack of money supply forces sellers to dump perishable goods at below market prices in mandis and market places. "However, we expect the rate to hover around four per cent mainly due to firming up of core inflation and a rise in food prices once the base effect weakens". In the same month last fiscal, it had contracted 1.42 per cent.

Please enter your email. The WPI data showed vegetable prices slid 24.1% in November, while onion prices contracted 51.5%. Industry chamber Assocham said the fall in WPI is in tandem with the expectation which is reflective of the depressive state in the economy owing to the demonetisation.

The index for "Non-Food Articles" group declined by 0.8 percent to 221.4 (provisional) from 223.2 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of sunflower (11%), groundnut seed and guar seed (5% each), soyabean and flowers (4% each), linseed, raw cotton and mesta (3% each), coir fibre (2%) and raw wool, fodder, gingelly seed (1% each).

However, prices of wheat (10.71%), cereals (7.32%) picked up during the month.

Both measures of inflation are comfortable at current levels with retail inflation well below the Reserve Bank of India's March 2017 target of 5 percent.