India’s wholesale inflation rises fourth month in row

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New Delhi, January 14 (IANS) With food items, notably pulses and onions, continuing to remain dear, India’s annual wholesale inflation rate moved up further to (-)0.73 percent for December, against (-)1.99 percent for the month before, official data showed on Thursday.

This was the fourth straight month of increase in the annual inflation.

As per the wholesale price index numbers released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the annual food inflation was steep at 8.17 percent, while index numbers for fuels and manufactured products were both in the negative — at (-)9.15 percent and (-)1.36 percent, respectively.

In the past month, the index for food articles, that is unprocessed items, rose 0.6 percent while the build-up in the first three quarters of the fiscal was 9.39 percent. For food products, the rise was 0.3 percent in the past month under review, and 3.12 percent since April 2015.

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India’s overall retail prices too have been rising. According to the data released two days ago, the annual retail inflation moved up further to 5.61 percent in December from 5.41 percent during the month before.

The consumer price index numbers also showed that food inflation rose higher — to 6.4 percent as against 6.07 percent in the month before. In rural and urban areas, the annual inflation rates for food items were 6.41 percent and 6.31 percent, respectively.

As per Thursday’s data on wholesale prices, the annual inflation for pulses in general was 55.56 percent, while for onions it was 25.98 percent. But with potatoes cheaper by 34.99 percent over the past year, the annual rise in the overall vegetable index stood moderated to 20.56 percent.

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