New Delhi, November 14
Wholesale price inflation remained in the negative territory for the seventh month in a row in October at (-) 0.52% on easing prices of food items.
Prices of food items ease
- The negative rate of inflation in October is primarily due to fall in prices of chemicals and chemical products, electricity, textiles, basic metals, food products, paper and paper products
- A negative WPI inflation, technically termed as deflation, means overall wholesale prices have been falling year-on-year
Experts said some near-term upside risks to the WPI inflation could emanate from volatile vegetable prices, uptrend in domestic prices of most food items and an unfavourable base.
The wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation rate has been in the negative zone since April and was at (-) 0.26% in September, 2023. In October last year, WPI was at 8.67%.
“The negative rate of inflation in October, 2023, is primarily due to fall in prices of chemicals and chemical products, electricity, textiles, basic metals, food products, paper and paper products, etc. as compared to the corresponding month of previous year,” the Commerce and Industry Ministry said on Tuesday.
A negative WPI inflation, technically termed as deflation, means that overall wholesale prices have been falling year-on-year. As per the data, inflation in food articles eased to 2.53% in October. It was 3.35% in the previous month.
While inflation in vegetables and potatoes cooled to (-) 21.04% and (-) 29.27%, respectively, the annual rate of price rise in onion continued to rule high at 62.60% in October. Pulses and paddy continued to witness high inflation of 19.43% and 9.39%, respectively.
ICRA chief economist Aditi Nayar said the WPI deflation widened slightly to 0.5% in October, from 0.3% in September, in y-o-y terms. This was led by a sharp turnaround in crude petroleum and natural gas print to a deflation, and a softening in the inflation for primary food articles, mainly vegetables.
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