Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of India

Cheaper fuel and manufactured items eases India's wholesale inflation to 3.1% YoY in April 2019.

Published monthly by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Updated until April 2019. (Published on May 14, 2019) 
Note: WPI Food Index consists of ‘Food Articles’ from Primary Articles group and ‘Food Product’ from Manufactured Products. Core WPI represents non-food manufacturing.

Recent Data Trend

The Wholesale Price Index inflation eased to 3.1% YoY in April 2019 compared to 3.18% in March 2019, primarily on account of cheaper fuel and manufactured items. The wholesale-based price inflation softened even as the WPI inflation in food articles climbed to a two year high of 5% YoY in April 2019 as against 3.9% YoY in the last month. The softening of WPI inflation is in contrast with the uptick in retail inflation to a 6-month high of 2.9% YoY in April on the back of higher food inflation.

The wholesale-based fuel and power inflation declined to 3.8% YoY in April after rising to 5.4% YoY in the last month. The fall in fuel inflation is in disagreement with the rising global crude oil prices which has been on the rise since December 2018. This may be partly attributed to a higher base effect. The wholesale-based inflation for manufactured products further slipped to 1.7% YoY in March. The fall in inflation looks more broad-based in March with 10 out of 17 segments within manufactured products recording a decline in their inflation rates.

The spike in WPI food inflation is largely due to inflation in food articles within the primary articles. The inflation in food articles climbed up to 7.37% YoY in April on the back of steep rise in prices of vegetables by 40.65% YoY. The inflation in vegetables stood at 28.13% YoY in the last month. Along with vegetables, pulses, eggs, meat, and fish also got costlier in April. The food inflation has bounced back of late and is expected to rise in the coming months mainly due to drought in large parts of western and southern India. In addition a countinuous fall in wholesale level inflation in manufactured products since October 2018, is indicative of a slowdown in consumption demand.

Brief Overview

Wholesale Price Index (WPI) represents the price of representative commodity basket of 697 items at the wholesale level, i.e. goods traded in bulk and between organizations, not the end consumers. It is a measure of inflation at the wholesale level. The significant components of WPI include Manufactured Products, Primary Articles, Fuel, and Power in the decreasing order of weight-age to the stated elements. The purpose of the WPI is to monitor price movements that reflect supply and demand in industry, manufacturing, and construction. The WPI index helps in analyzing both macroeconomic and microeconomic conditions.

The WPI inflation has remained in the negative zone for the entire year of 2015 owing to the weak global prices of oil. The wholesale prices fell by 5.1% in August 2015, the highest fall of all time.

The  Office of the  Economic  Adviser in the  Department of  Industrial  Policy and Promotion,  Ministry of  Commerce  &  Industry is responsible for compiling  WPI and releasing it. Since 1947 the index is being regularly published. The latest series of WPI uses the base year as 2011-12. For more information, please visit the official website.  

Wholesale Price Index, Sub-group: Manufacturing

Wholesale Price Index, Sub-group: Primary Articles

Wholesale Price Index, Sub-group: Fuel and Power

Next Release Date: June 14, 2019

Wholesale Price Index-Quarterly

Wholesale Price Index-Annual

Note: Here year represent fiscal year. For example 2010 refers to the period April 2010-March 2011, and so on. 
The entire series 1970-2017 is on the same base year (2011-12=100). The data post-2012 is in the base year 2011-12. For data, before 2012, we have used yearly growth rates obtained from a series of the different base year. For example, the index of 2010 (on 2011-12 base year) has been obtained preserving its growth rate (on 2004-05 base year) and using 2011-12 index value as 100 and dividing it by the growth rate for 2010 obtained earlier.