India’s Wholesale Price Index Sees Sharp Rise in April

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Inflation In India: In a significant economic update, the Government of India has reported a notable increase in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for April 2024, marking the highest rise in 13 months. The WPI surged by 1.26%, surpassing both government and expert projections. The government’s estimate was pegged at 1%, while experts had anticipated a range between 0.8% and 1.1%.

March and April Comparisons

In March 2024, the WPI stood at 0.53%, slightly up from 0.27% in January. In comparison, April 2023 saw the WPI at a 34-month low of 0.92%, marking the first negative growth since July 2020 due to the base effect. The WPI tracks the price changes of commodities traded wholesale, providing a measure distinct from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which reflects the prices of goods and services purchased by consumers.

Retail Inflation Sees Marginal Decline

Parallel to the WPI data, the retail inflation rate also experienced a minor decline in April 2024, standing at 4.83% compared to 4.85% in March 2024. Despite this slight drop, food inflation remains a concern, with a rate of 8.70% in April. Notably, the prices of vegetables and pulses have driven this surge, with pulses alone seeing a price rise of 16.84% in April, though this is a decrease from 18.99% in March.

Breakdown of Wholesale Inflation Categories

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, responsible for releasing the WPI data, categorizes commodities into three main groups: Primary Articles, Fuel and Power, and Manufactured Products. Primary Articles are further divided into Food and Non-Food items. The base year for the WPI calculation is 2011-12.

Detailed Commodity Price Changes

In April 2024, the inflation rate for various food articles was significant:

  • Pulses: 16.84%
  • Foodgrains and related products: 8.63%
  • Spices: 7.75%
  • Fruits: 5.94%
  • Sugar: 6.73%
  • Eggs: 9.59%
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