WPI Inflation Eases to 12.96% in Jan; Food Prices Harden

The wholesale price-based inflation eased for the second consecutive month in January at 12.96 per cent, even though food prices hardened, the government said on Monday. WPI inflation has remained in double digits for the tenth consecutive month beginning April 2021. Inflation in December 2021 was 13.56 per cent, while in January 2021, it was 2.51 per cent.

Inflation in food articles, however, spiked to a 10.33 per cent in January 2022 from 9.56 per cent in December 2021. Vegetable price rise rate jumped to 38.45 per cent, against 31.56 per cent in the previous month. In the food articles category, pulses, cereals and paddy witnessed a month-on-month price rise, while inflation in egg, meat and fish stood at 9.85 per cent and in potato and onion at (-)14.45 and (-)15.98 per cent, respectively.

“The high rate of inflation in January 2022 is primarily due to rise in prices of mineral oils, crude petroleum and natural gas, basic metals, chemicals and chemical products, food articles etc as compared the corresponding month of the previous year,” the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement. Inflation in manufactured items was 9.42 per cent in January, against 10.62 per cent in the previous month.

In fuel and power basket, the rate of price rise was 32.27 in January, a tad lower than 32.30 per cent in December. The Reserve Bank last week kept its key repo rate — at which it lends short-term money to banks — unchanged for the 10th time in a row at 4 per cent, to support growth as well as manage the inflationary pressures.

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