Wholesale Price Inflation in India climbed to eight-year high of 7.39 per cent in March 2021 compared to the same month last year, primarily due to higher fuel and power prices. Before this, WPI-based inflation was recorded at 8.6 per cent in March 2013. On a month-on-month basis, WPI inflation saw 1.57 per cent rise as compared to 4.17 per cent in February, the commerce ministry data shows.
"The annual rate of inflation stood at 7.39 per cent (provisional) for the month of March, 2021 over March, 2020. However, month-on-month (March 2021 over February 2021) rate of inflation stood at 1.57 per cent," stated the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
For January, the WPI inflation rate stood at 2.51 per cent. The prices of crude oil, petroleum products and basic metal substantially increased in March 2021 compared to March 2020. Also, due to nationwide lockdown, the WPI index for March 2020 (120.4) was computed with relatively low response rate, the government statement said.
Inflation for primary articles rose 0.55 percent in March over February, while inflation for crude petroleum, natural gas and non-food articles rose 8.64 per cent, 1.9 per cent and 0.35 per cent, respectively, over the preceding month.
Fuel and power saw the inflation index rising by 5.28 per cent in March over February. Coal prices declined in March compared to February, seeing deflation of 0.08 per cent.
The Inflation index for manufactured products rose 1.27 per cent in March compared to February. Out of the 22 NIC two-digit groups for manufactured products, 16 groups have witnessed increase in prices. The rate of inflation based on WPI Food Index increased from 3.31% in February, 2021 to 5.28% in March.
As per the ministry, the WPI for March 2021 has been compiled at a weighted response rate of 78 percent, while the final figure for January 2021 is based on the weighted response rate of 89 percent. The provisional figures of WPI will undergo revision as per the final revision policy of WPI, it added.
The wholesale inflation in February climbed to the highest in 27 months at 4.17 per cent as commodity prices increased. This was the highest since November 2018, when wholesale inflation was at 4.47 per cent.