In a more realistic and less confusing picture of the situation, the new wholesale price data monitoring system introduced on Thursday revealed that inflation of food articles soared by 13.39 per cent year-on-year during the week ended October 24, mainly owing to a surge in potato and onion prices, even as inflation for primary articles declined by 0.11 per cent on a weekly basis.
As per the new data collation system, the weekly Wholesale Price Index (WPI) numbers cover only primary articles, including mainly food items, and commodities in the broad group ‘fuel, power, light and lubricants.’
Besides, the monthly price index covering all commodities for October will be released on November 12, in accordance with the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), an official statement said here. The weekly inflation data show that while potato prices have doubled during the one-year period ended October 24, the prices of onions also soared by 50 per cent during the year, as did pulses by 23.45 per cent.
Among other items which witnessed a price increase of over 10 per cent were rice (12.19 per cent) and milk (10.3 per cent).
As a result, the year-on-year inflation for primary articles, including non-food items, was pegged at 8.94 per cent.
The new mechanism of segregating food inflation is expected to capture the price situation in a more realistic manner and narrow the wide variation, hitherto, between the WPI and the Consumer Price Index numbers. In effect, it will set at rest the doubts in the common man’s mind over the veracity of WPI inflation data.
For, according to the WPI data for all items together, inflation for the week ended October 17 was mere 1.51 per cent.
During the week, prices of fruits and vegetables declined by two per cent, fish (marine) by three per cent, and barley and jowar, one per cent each. However, prices of moong rose by three per cent, as did wheat and bajra by two per cent each.
Alongside, non-food items, including fibre, oil seeds and minerals, declined by 0.25 per cent while the index of fuel, power, light and lubricants fell by 6.2 per cent.