India's WPI inflation hits four-month high in August

The index for food articles rose by 5.75% the statement said while fuel power and lighting prices rose 10

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) or wholesale inflation for the month of August 2017 rose to 3.24% as compared to 1.88% in July 2017 and 1.1% in the similar period of the previous year.

A massive jump in food and fuel prices pushed up India's wholesale price-indexed (WPI) inflation in August at 3.24 per cent to almost double that of July, official data showed on Thursday.

The index for "Mineral Oils" group rose by 1.7 percent to 76.6 (provisional) from 75.3 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of naphtha (5%), petrol and kerosene (3% each), HSD and ATF (2% each) and furnace oil (1%).

The rate of inflation based on WPI Food Index consisting of Food Articles from Primary Articles group and Food Product from Manufactured Products group increased from 2.12% in July, 2017 to 4.41% in August, 2017.

The trend is in line with the retail inflation that rose to a five month high of 3.36% in August due to costlier vegetables and fruits, data released earlier this week showed.

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While index for "Non-Food Articles" group grew by 1.8% to 120.6 from 118.5 for the previous month due to higher price of floriculture (25%), copra (coconut) (23%), guar seed (8%), safflower (kardi seed) (4%), castor seed (3%), gingelly seed, rape & mustard seed and raw wool (2% each) and soyabean and skins (raw) (1% each). The sub-category of manufactured food products registered a rise of 1.84 per cent.

Apart from vegetables, the food articles that saw rise in prices include pulses, fruits (7.35 per cent), egg, meat and fish (3.93 per cent), cereals (0.21 per cent) and paddy (2.70 per cent). Petrol inflation, however, jumped by 24.55 per cent and diesel by 20.30 per cent im August. Wholesale price inflation in July stood at 1.88%.

The y-o-y data revealed that among non-food categories, the "fuel and light" segment's inflation rate accelerated to 4.94 per cent in August.

Last month, the Reserve Bank cut policy repo rate by 0.25 percent to 6 percent citing reduction in inflation risk.

"From the perspective of jobs and fresh employment opportunities, all policy levers at the disposal of government and RBI should be utilised even as further steps are taken to augment agri-production and improve the supply side logistics".

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