Wholesale prices shrank 0.9% in April on base effect

Wholesale prices registered a 0.92% deflation in April, with the WPI-based reading sliding to a 34-month low led by a 2.42% year-on-year contraction in manufactured products’ prices and a sharp dip in fuel, power and food inflation rates. The base effect was a key contributor to the deflationary reading as April 2022 saw WPI inflation at 15.4%, which was a record high at the time.

On a month-on-month basis, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) remained unchanged, with the fuel and power index shrinking 2.7%. This was offset by a quickening in primary articles and food inflation to 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively — both of which were the highest sequential upticks in at least six months.

“Decline in the rate of inflation in April is primarily contributed by fall in prices of basic metals, food products, mineral oils, textiles, non-food articles, chemical and chemical products, rubber and plastic products and paper and paper products,” the Commerce and Industry Ministry said.

Wholesale price inflation had slowed in March to 1.34%. April’s deceleration marks the 11th straight month of moderating WPI inflation since it scaled an all-time high of 16.6% in May 2022.

Vegetable prices shrank year-on-year for the sixth straight month, but rose 4.5% from March’s level.