In May, India saw a 15-month high in wholesale inflation, climbing to 2.61%.

India’s Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation soared to 2.61 percent in May 2024, marking its highest level in 15 months since February 2023, when it stood at 3.85 percent before dropping to 1.41 percent in March 2023. Last month, India’s WPI-based inflation reached a 13-month high at 1.26 percent year-on-year, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Friday. In May of the previous year, the WPI had significantly declined to -3.48 percent.

In May 2024, the index for primary articles rose by 0.54 percent to 187.7 from 186.7 in April 2024. Prices of food articles increased by 1.48 percent, while minerals saw a rise of 1.08 percent. However, prices of non-food articles declined by 1.26 percent, and crude petroleum & natural gas fell by 3.56 percent.

In the fuel and power sector, prices rose by 1.35 percent in May, slightly down from the 1.38 percent rise seen in April. Prices of mineral oils and coal remained unchanged, while electricity prices witnessed a significant decline of 11.67 percent.

The WPI of manufactured goods increased to 0.78 percent, reversing a 0.42 percent decline in April. Out of the 22 National Industrial Classification (NIC) two-digit groups for manufactured products, 13 groups experienced price increases, eight groups saw price decreases, and one group remained constant. Notable increases were seen in basic metals, food products, computers, electronic & optical products, electrical equipment, and other manufacturing. Decreases were observed in fabricated metal products (except machinery & equipment), other non-metallic mineral products, chemicals & chemical products, tobacco products, and other transport equipment.

Food prices surged by 7.4 percent in May compared to a 5.52 percent increase in April. Vegetable prices saw a particularly sharp rise, up 32.42 percent year-on-year, compared to a 27.94 percent increase in the previous month. The Food Index, comprising ‘food articles’ from the primary articles group and ‘food products’ from the manufactured products group, increased from 183.6 in April 2024 to 185.7 in May 2024.

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