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May 24, 2018
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WPI inflation rises to 3.18% in April on costlier fuel, fruitsAccording to government data released on Monday, inflation in food articles was at 0.87% in April 2018, as against a deflation of 0.29% in the preceding month.

Inflation at the wholesale level accelerated sharply in April to 3.18%, driven by a surge in fuel prices and a rebound in food price inflation, according to official data released on Monday.

Growth in the Wholesale Price Index accelerated from 2.47% in March, with inflation in the ‘crude petroleum and natural gas’ segment surging to 15.5% in April from 8.23% in the previous month.

“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,” Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist at ICRA said in a note. “The index for crude petroleum rose by only about 1% to 73.9 in April 2018 from the revised 72.6 in February 2018, despite the around 10% rise in the price of the Indian crude oil basket in INR terms to about Rs. 4,513/barrel in April 2018 from about Rs. 4,084/barrel in February 2018. Accordingly, the inflation for this sub-sector may subsequently be revised upward.”

Inflation in the food articles segment of the primary articles category quickened to 0.89% in April from a contraction of 0.29% in the previous month. Similarly, inflation in the overall food group—a composite of the food articles segment as well as the manufactured food segment—accelerated to 0.67% from a marginal contraction of 0.07% in March.

“Weakness in prices of pulses and onions, as well as sugar, was offset by a sharp month-on-month rise in other perishables, in line with the seasonal trend at the start of the summer months,” Ms Nayar added. “Nevertheless, primary food inflation remained subdued at 0.9% in April 2018.”

Inflation in the manufacturing sector came in at 3.11% in April, compared with 3.03% in the previous month.