The rise in WPI is due to increase in prices of food items such as onions and potatoes.

Wholesale Price Inflation surges to 259 in December up from 058 in NovemberImage Credit: Picxy.com/dimpy
Money Inflation Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 12:56

Wholesale prices-based inflation (WPI) surged to 2.59% in December, as against 0.58% in November due to increase in prices of food articles like onion and potato.

The annual inflation, based on monthly wholesale price index (WPI), was at 3.46% during the same month a year ago (December 2018).

The rate of price rise for food articles rose to 13.12% during December as against 11% a month earlier, while for non-food articles it rose nearly four-fold to 7.72% from 1.93% in November, showed the data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.

Among food articles, vegetable prices surged by 69.69% mainly on account of onions, which witnessed 455.83% jump in prices, followed by potato at 44.97%.

Inflation rate of manufactured food items stood at (-)0.25% during December as against 6.89% in November. Manufactured products have a combined weight of 65% in the WPI index.

The consumer price index-based retail inflation, as per data released on Monday, spiked to over a 5-year high of 7.35% in December due to costlier food products.

CPI breached the Reserve Bank of India's target band. The RBI is mandated to keep inflation between 2-6%, with a margin of 2% on either side.

The data assumes significance as the Reserve Bank, in its latest monetary policy review, maintained key lending rates on account of rising retail inflation.

This comes at a time when India's GDP growth has been forecasted to dip to an 11-year low of 5% in the current fiscal, primarily due to poor showing by the manufacturing and construction sectors. 

The RBI had also lowered its forecast for economic growth to 5% while announcing its bi-monthly monetary policy in December.

These figures also come ahead of the upcoming Union Budget, which will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Expectations from the budget will be mainly on boosting growth in the economy.