India’s September wholesale price inflation eases to 10.66%

New Delhi:- Lower prices of primary goods, along with food articles, eased India’s September 2021 wholesale inflation on a sequential basis.

The annual rate of inflation, based on wholesale prices, eased to 10.66 per cent last month from 11.39 per cent in August.

However, on a YoY basis, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has risen exponentially over September 2020, when it stood at 1.32 per cent.

“The high rate of inflation in September 2021 is primarily due to rise in prices of mineral oils, basic metals, non-food articles, food products, crude petroleum and natural gas, chemicals and chemical products etc, as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year,” the ministry said in its review of ‘Index Numbers of Wholesale Price in India’ for September.

“The month over month change in WPI index for the month of September, 2021 (as compared to August, 2021) was 0.07 per cent.”

As per the data, the primary articles segment, which has one of the highest weightage in the WPI, increased at a slower rate of 4.10 per cent in September, 2021 than 6.20 per cent reported for August.

In the fuel and power segment, which has a weightage of 13.15 per cent, the rise in inflation was recorded at 24.81 per cent from 26.09 per cent in August 2021.

Under this category, prices of mineral oils (-) 1.75 per cent declined in September, 2021 as compared to August, 2021, whereas prices of coal and electricity remain unchanged.

However, cost of manufactured products, which has a weightage of 64.23 per cent, increased at a faster rate of 11.41 per cent from 11.39 per cent.

Nevertheless, the growth rate of WPI food index consisting of food articles from the primary articles group and food products from manufactured products group eased to 1.14 per cent from 3.43 per cent.

ICRA Chief Economist Aditi Nayar said: “The WPI inflation mildly trailed our expectation for September 2021, which offers a modicum of comfort given the looming concerns related to coal, crude oil, metals and logistics costs, as well as a depreciating INR.”

“The sequential decline in the WPI inflation in September 2021 relative to August 2021 benefitted from primary food items slipping into a series-low disinflation of 4.7 per cent, with a sharp 32.4 per cent YoY decline in vegetable prices, and a base-effect led easing in the inflation for fuel and power.”

India Ratings and Research’s Principal Economist Sunil Kumar Sinha said: “This is the sixth consecutive month in which wholesale inflation has stayed in double-digit level. The moderation in September 2021 came due to weakening of the momentum effect.”

“Further with the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in many countries across the globe, even global supply chain or trade is facing fresh challenges leading to higher transportation costs. Against this backdrop, India Ratings and Research believes that wholesale inflation are likely to remain elevated in the near term.”