WPI inflation rises to 14-month high of 4.43% in May on costlier fuel, veggies


New Delhi: Inflation based on wholesale prices shot up to a 14-month high of 4.43 percent in May on increasing prices of petrol and diesel as well as vegetables.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation stood at 3.18 percent in April and 2.26 percent in May last year.

According to government data released today, inflation in food articles was at 1.60 percent in May 2018, as against 0.87 percent in the preceding month.

Inflation in vegetables climbed to 2.51 percent in May, while in the previous month it was (-)0.89 percent.

Inflation in ‘fuel and power’ basket rose sharply to 11.22 percent in May from 7.85 percent in April as prices of domestic fuel increased in line with rising global crude oil rates.

Potato inflation was at a peak of 81.93 percent, against 67.94 percent in April.

Price rise in fruits was in double digits at 15.40 percent, while pulses saw a deflation of 21.13 percent.

The WPI inflation for March was revised upwards to 2.74 percent from the provisional estimate of 2.47 percent.

May inflation at 4.43 percent was a 14-month peak. The previous high was in March 2017, when the WPI inflation stood at 5.11 percent.

In its second monetary policy review for the fiscal, the Reserve Bank earlier this month hiked interest rate by 0.25 percent– the first hike in more than four years — due to growing concerns about inflation stoked by rising global crude oil prices as well as domestic price increases.

The price of Indian basket of crude surged from USD 66 a barrel in April to around USD 74 currently.

Data released earlier this week showed retail inflation jumped to a 4-month high of 4.87 percent in May on costlier food items such as fruits, vegetables and fuel. RBI mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy.