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India’s WPI jumps to 14.23% in November

New Delhi, Dec 14 (UNI): India’s wholesale inflation rose to 14.23% in November, from 12.54% during October and 11.80% in September, provisional data released from the Ministry of Commerce Industry showed on Tuesday.

The high rate of inflation for November 2021 as compared to 2.29% in November last year is primarily due to rise in prices of mineral oils, basic metals, crude petroleum and natural gas, chemicals and chemical products, food products etc. as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

The index for primary articles increased by 5.57% to 168.6 in November, 2021 from 159.7 for October, 2021. Prices of crude petroleum and natural gas rose 12.24%, minerals 5.96%, food articles 5.81% and non-food articles 2.15% in November, 2021 as compared to October, 2021.

The index for fuel and power increased by 5.61 per cent to 131.7 in November, 2021 from 124.7 for the month of October, 2021. Prices of mineral oils rose 8.76 per cent and that of coal by 1.16 per cent increased in November, 2021 as compared to October, 2021. Prices of electricity remain unchanged.

The index for manufactured product increased by 0.89% to 136.1 in November, 2021 from 134.9 for the month of October, 2021.Out of the 22 NIC two-digit groups for manufactured products, 16 groups have witnessed increase in prices while 6 groups have witnessed decrease in prices in November 2021 compared to October, 2021.

The increase in prices is mainly contributed by manufacture of basic metals, chemicals and chemical products, textiles, other non-metallic mineral products and paper and paper products.

Some of the groups that have witnessed decrease in prices are manufacture of food products, other manufacturing, electrical equipment, tobacco products and leather and related products.

According to Aditi Nayar, chief economist of ICRA, the spike in the WPI inflation to an all-time high of 14.2% in November 2021 has come as a shock, especially with most non-core categories displaying an inflation rate that was much steeper than expected.

The ICRA analysis attributes the hardening in the WPI inflation to 14.2% in November 2021 from 12.5% in October 2021 to the surge in primary food products which saw an inflation of 4.9% from the disinflation of 1.7%, respectively, in addition to the rise displayed by minerals, fuel and power, crude petroleum and natural gas as well as core-WPI. Only primary non-food articles and manufactured food products recorded a softening in the YoY inflation print in November 2021, while continuing to print in double digits.

“The unseasonal surge in vegetable prices, as well as a rise in the inflation for egg, meat and fish, and condiments and spices underpinned the turnaround in the primary food inflation to a 13-month high 4.9% in November 2021 from the disinflation of 1.7% in the previous month,” said Nayar.

A falling base is likely to push up the inflation rate for primary food articles further in the current month, in spite of an anticipated sequential moderation in prices of various food items, as per the ICRA report.

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