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India April wholesale price index rises at fastest pace in a year

May 15, 2024 00:00:00

NEW DELHI, May 14 (Reuters): India's wholesale price-based inflation rose 1.26 per cent in April, the highest pace in a year, mainly driven by food and primary articles, government data showed on Tuesday.

The April figures were higher than the 1 per cent rise expected by economists polled by Reuters and up from a 0.53 per cent year-on-year rise in March.

Wholesale inflation was the highest since March 2023, when it hit 1.41 per cent. Food prices rose 5.52 per cent on-year compared with an increase of 4.65 per cent in March, while prices of primary articles were up 5.01 per cent against a 4.51 per cent rise in the previous month.

Manufactured product prices fell 0.42 per cent against a 0.85 per cent drop in the previous month. Fuel and power prices rose 1.38 per cent compared with a 0.77 per cent drop in March. The inflation was driven by higher crude oil and food prices, said Paras Jasrai, an economist at India Ratings.

Inflation should quicken further in May, largely due to a favourable base and some pickup in global commodity prices, said Jasrai.

Annual retail inflation rate eased slightly in April, partly due to lower fuel prices, although food prices remained elevated, government data showed on Monday.

The central bank held interest rates steady in April as growth was seen staying robust while inflation has remained above its 4 per cent target. Markets now expect a rate cut only in early 2025 as opposed to earlier views for an easing in the last quarter of 2024.

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