Wholesale inflation rises to 4-month high in April

Wholesale inflation rises to 4-month high in April

India's annual retail inflation accelerated in April to 4.58 percent, after easing for three straight months, government data showed on Monday, mainly driven by faster increases in fuel prices.

Core inflation-comprising non-food and non-fuel components-hit 34-month high to 6 percent in April.

Primary articles, which accounts for more than a fifth of the entire wholesale price index, grew 1.41 percent in April from 1.03 percent year a percent ago and 0.24 percent in March.

The inflation, which is based on CPI, was 2.99 percent previous year in April.

"Break down of the WPI data for April, 2018 shows annualised inflation of close to 10 per cent for petrol and over 13 per cent for high speed diesel". This may result in RBI maintaining status quo on policy rates in its June 2018 monetary policy review.

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On Saturday, the government issued a press release that the base year for calculating the wholesale price index had been changed from 2004-'05 to 2011-'12.

The central bank revised downward forecast for retail inflation to 4.7-5.1 per cent for April-September and 4.4 per cent for October-March. In March, deflationary pressures on food articles meant that pulses and vegetables turned cheaper while falling prices of at least some commodities such as tomatoes, reflected farmers' woes. It said, Inflation in fruits was in double digits at 19.47 per cent in April, up from 9.26 per cent in the previous month.

Other notable sub-categories such as cereals became dearer by 2.56 per cent and meat and fish recorded a rise of 3.59 per cent. The inflation rate for meat and fish inched up to 3.59 per cent as against 3.17 per cent in March, while inflation for vegetables segment was lower at 7.29 per cent in April compared to 11.7 per cent.

According to Shubhada M Rao, chief economist at Yes Bank Ltd.in Mumbai, core inflation was at 5.9 percent - a 44-month high.

"While an unfavourable base effect caused the year-on-year inflation for crude petroleum to surge... the impact of rising global prices seems to be incomplete", Ms.Nayar said.

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