Wholesale-level inflation- measured by the WPI or the wholesale price index- shot up to 7.39% in March on a YoY basis. This is the highest wholesale inflation rate since October 2012, and was driven largely by higher prices of crude oil and a surge in price levels of food items such as pulses and fruits. The surge in March was also aided b a low base in the corresponding month of 2020.
The data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Thursday. On a month-on-month basis, the index rose 1.6% in March 2021 compared to February 2021. The prices of crude oil, petroleum products and basis metal were substantially higher in March 2021 as compared to a year ago. The fed into prices of manufactured goods, which rose 7.34% compared to a year ago- the highest reading in the series.
While the consumer Price Index- based retail inflation- the more widely tracked policy tool- looks at the price at which the consumer buy goods, The WPI prices at the wholesale, or factory gate/ mandi levels. Between the wholesale price and the retail price, the difference essentially is the former only tracks basic prices devoid of transportation cost, taxes and the retail margin etc.