A vendor counts money in a vegetable stall in Gangtok, Sikkim, India (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Wholesale Inflation Eases In December 

India’s wholesale prices rose lower than anticipated in December on easing costs of food items.

Inflation measured by the Wholesale Price Index rose to 3.58 percent on a yearly basis last month as compared to 3.93 percent in November, according to the latest report by Ministry of Commerce and Industry. That's lower than the 4 percent median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Food prices declined 4.3 percent, largely as fruits and vegetables became 14 percent cheaper over the previous months.

That comes after the consumer price inflation accelerated to 5.2 percent year-on-month in December, its fastest pace in 17 months. “Even so, inflation appears to be close to a peak,” Bloomberg Intelligence economist Abhishekh Gupta has written in a note prior to the numbers were released. Retail inflation had been rising since July on higher vegetable prices. Fresh supplies starting December-end are expected to bring it down. Wholesale prices indicate that trend.

In the wholesale index, prices of non-food articles group rose 1.8 percent as flowers, copra, raw silk, sesame seed and guar seed, raw cotton, raw wool and raw rubber became costlier. The prices of minerals declined 5.4 percent as copper concentrate, lead concentrate and zinc concentrate prices decline. However, prices of chromite, manganese ore, bauxite and phosphorite moved up.

Key Highlights

  • Prices of primary articles declined 2.9 percent.
  • Prices of food articles declined 4.3 percent.
  • Prices of fuel and power rose 1.6 percent.
  • Prices of manufactured products rose 0.1 percent.