Inflation touches 14-month high of 7.52%

India’s headline inflation as captured by the wholesale price index (WPI) rose 7.52 per cent in November over the year-ago period, marking a 14-month high and triggering expectations of a policy rate hike by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) later this week.

The Indian central bank is widely expected to tighten monetary screws in its mid-quarter policy review scheduled for Wednesday.

The provisional number for price rise in November represents acceleration compared with 7 per cent for October and 7.24 per cent during November 2012 (over November 2011). Build-up inflation rate in the financial year so far is pegged at 6.7 per cent compared with a build-up rate of 4.84 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Inflation rate has been on a downward trend, declining from 7.3 per cent in January to 4.6 per cent in May, but has been moving up again after a minor dip in October from 7.05 per cent in September.

The government has revised upwards the final WPI inflation mark for September to 7.05 per cent compared with the provision mark of 6.46 per cent, disclosed earlier.

The rise in prices was led by primary articles and fuel & power, which together account for just 

one-third of the WPI. Manufactured products, barring a few categories, continued to see a moderate price rise. Among the top contributors to high price rise include food articles led by vegetables, onion and potato.

Higher prices of LPG and diesel in particular added on to the rise in fuel & power prices.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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