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Wholesale inflation at 6 months high of 3.59%

Inflation at the wholesale level rose to 6-month high of 3.59% in October as the prices of food articles, led by onions and vegetables, rose sharply.

Inflation, based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was 2.60% in September. In October last year, it was 1.27%. Last month’s inflation was the highest since April, when it was 3.85%. The government data released today showed that inflation in food articles more than doubled to 4.30% in October. For vegetables, it soared to 36.61% last month as against 15.48% in September.

In case of onions, inflation skyrocketed to 127.04%, while for the eggs, meat and fish segment the rate of price rise was 5.76%. Inflation in manufactured products saw a slight dip to 2.62%, as against 2.72% in September. In the fuel and power segment, inflation rose to 10.52%, as against 9.01% 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%. Likewise, in potato deflation was at 44.29% and wheat at 1.99%. The final print of August WPI inflation remained unchanged at 3.24%. As per the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released yesterday, retail inflation for October rose to a 7-month high of 3.58% on costlier food items, especially vegetables.

Besides, industrial production for September expanded at 3.8%, on poor showing by the manufacturing sector coupled with decline in consumer durables output. Last month, the Reserve Bank kept benchmark interest rate unchanged on fears of rising inflation while lowering growth forecast to 6.7% for the current fiscal. RBI also raised its inflation forecast to the 4.2-4.6% range for the rest of the current fiscal as against 4-4.5% previously.

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