WPI inflation up 0.7 pct in November 2017

WPI inflation reaches to 8-month high of 3.93% in November

India's annual wholesale price inflation for the month of November rose to an eight-month high, driven by significant price rise in food and fuel products, government data showed on Thursday.

In terms of food prices, the YoY (Year-over-year) wholesale inflation rate for onion was higher by 178.19 percent, whereas for potatoes it plunged by (-) 40.73 percent.

The index for "Food Articles" group rose by 1.8 per cent to 150.6 (provisional) from 148.0 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of betel leaves (12 per cent), egg (11 per cent), fruits and vegetables (seven per cent) and fish-marine, beef and buffalo meat, pork, condiments and spices and wheat (one per cent each).

Pointing to the high crude oil and commodity prices as well as the base effect for primary food inflation, Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA, said: "We expect the WPI inflation to rise further to above 4 per cent in December 2017, before easing to a range of 3.2 per cent to 3.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of the fiscal".

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Data released earlier this week showed that consumer price inflation quickened to a 15-month high of 4.88 percent in November from 3.58 percent in October. However, price of onion-a key ingredient used in Indian kitchen-more than doubled in November as compared with a contraction (-) 55.32 percent during the same period a year ago.

The official Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for the month of November, 2017 rose by 0.7 percent to 116.3 (provisional) in comparison to 115.5 (provisional) for the previous month.

Though wholesale prices are no longer monitored by the RBI for fixing interest rates, they provide an indication of possible trends in retail inflation.

The MPC also said that that inflation expectations, i.e., food and fuel inflation, edged up in November. The central bank's increased concern about inflation has prompted it to hold rates since a trim in August.

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