The annual wholesale price based inflation remained in double digit for a ninth successive month though it decreased marginally in December to 13.56 per cent, revealed the index numbers of wholesale price in India (Base Year: 2011-12) for the month of December, 2021 (Provisional) released here on Friday by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The annual rate of inflation, based on wholesale prices, rose to 13.56 per cent from 14.23 per cent reported for November 2021 and on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) has risen exponentially over December 2020, when it stood at 1.95 per cent, the Ministry stated.
“The high rate of inflation in December 2021 is primarily due to rise in prices of mineral oils, basic metals, crude petroleum and natural gas, chemicals and chemical products, food products, textile and paper and paper products etc as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year,” the Ministry said. “The month over month change in WPI for the month of December 2021 stood at (-) 0.35 per cent as compared to November 2021,” it added.
Inflation in food articles has increased to a 23-month high at 9.56 per cent in December, against 4.88 per cent in November, similarly the vegetable price also jumped 31.56 per cent, against 3.91 per cent in the previous month. In the food articles category, pulses, wheat, cereals and paddy all witnessed a month-on-month price rise, while potato, onion, fruits and egg, meat and fish saw some softening, the Ministry said.
While the inflation in manufactured items was lower at 10.62 per cent in December, against 11.92 per cent in the previous month, in fuel and power basket the rate of price rise was 32.30 per cent in December, against 39.81 per cent in November, the Ministry said.
Data released earlier this week has stated that the retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (Combined) rose to 5.59 per cent in December, from 4.91 per cent a month ago as food prices inched up.
The food inflation has spiked from the marginal 0.1 per cent in October 2021, to an unpleasant 23-month high of 9.6 per cent in December 2021, reflecting the unfavourable base particularly for vegetables, said a senior officer of the Commerce Ministry.
Despite the continued double-digit WPI inflation in December 2021, it is expected that the MPC will pause in February 2022. “The duration of the current wave and the severity of restrictions will determine whether policy normalization can commence in April 2022, or be delayed further to June 2022,” the Ministry added.