While food article prices softened in October, manufactured items witnessed hardening of prices, according to data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.

A person shopping from the supermarket during lockdownPTI file image
Money Inflation Monday, November 16, 2020 - 14:14

The wholesale price-based inflation rose to an eight-month high of 1.48% in October, as manufactured products turned costlier. The WPI inflation was 1.32% in September and zero per cent in October last year. This is the highest level of Wholesale price index based (WPI) inflation since February when it was 2.26%.

While food article prices softened in October, manufactured items witnessed hardening of prices, according to data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on Monday. Food inflation in October stood at 6.37%, as against 8.17% in the previous month. The expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62% of the WPI's total weightage, increased to 4.74%.

However, it had increased in a faster pace in September 2020 at 5.10% and 6.05% the corresponding month of the previous year.

The rate of price rise in vegetables and potato remained high at 25.23% and 107.70%, respectively, during the month. Potato price had risen by 107.63% during September 2020. Besides, onion prices in October rose 8.49% against a rise of (-) 31.64% in September. Similarly, pulses became dearer by 15.93% last month from 12.53% in September.

Inflation in non-food articles and minerals was higher at 2.85% and 9.11%, respectively.

In the manufactured products category, inflation stood at 2.12% in October, compared to 1.61% in September.

Prices in fuel and power basket softened to (-) 10.95% in October.

The retail inflation, based on the consumer price index, was 7.61% in October, data released last week showed.

The Reserve Bank in a report on the state of economy last week had also flagged unrelenting pressure of inflation as a downside risk confronting the prospects of economic recovery.

"The foremost is the unrelenting pressure of inflation, with no signs of waning in spite of supply management measures...There is a grave risk of generalisation of price pressures, unanchoring of inflation expectations feeding into a loss of credibility in policy interventions and the eventual corrosion of the nascent growth impulses that are making their appearance," the RBI said.

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