An exponential rise in food prices accelerated India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices to 3.59 % in October. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry released on Tuesday, the wholesale price index (WPI), with the revised base year of 2011-12, went up in October to 3.59 % from 2.60 % in September. On a segment-wise basis, the expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62 % of the WPI’s total weightage, edged higher by 3.33 % from an increase of 0.15 % in September 2017.

The prices of food articles rose by 4.30 % from an acceleration of 2.04 % during September 2017 and a rise of 2.98 % in October 2016. In terms of food prices, the YoY (Year-over-year) wholesale inflation rate for onion was higher by 127.04 %, whereas for potatoes it plunged by (-)44.29 %. In contrast, the overall vegetable prices in October rose by 36.61 %, against a fall of (-)11.84 % in the same month a year ago.

As per data, wheat became cheaper by (-)1.99 % on YoY basis and the prices of pulses came down by (-)31.05 %, but that of paddy became dearer by 3.10 %. Protein-based food items such as eggs, meat and fish became expensive by 5.76 % during the month under review. Prices of other major groups under the WPI, manufactured products, which comprise nearly 64.23 % of the index, recorded a 2.62 % rise.

The sub-category of manufactured food products registered a rise of 1.26 %. Fuel and power prices’ inflation accelerated by 10.52 %. Product-wise, the price of high-speed diesel rose by 15.43 % during October while that for petrol climbed by 12.87 % and for LPG by 26.53 %. This is the second macro-economic inflation data point for October that has shown a surge in prices. The consumer price index (CPI) inflation for October rose to 3.58 % from 3.28 % reported for September.

The CPI inflation last month on a YoY basis was lower than 4.20 % recorded in October 2016. The overall food prices, as gauged by the Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI), rose to 1.90 % during the month under review from 1.25 % in September 2017.