Wholesale Price Index (WPI)

Persistently low Core WPI keeps stagflation worries at bay.

Published monthly by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Updated until December 2019. (Published on January 14, 2020) 
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

India's WPI inflation for December 2019 grew by 2.6% YoY, breaking its eight-month fall, which started in March 2019. This was led by an uptick in food prices.

WPI food index, which measures food inflation, rose to 11.1% YoY in December 2019, the highest since December 2013. There was a substantial increase in the inflation of vegetables (69.7% YoY), particularly onion (455.8% YoY) and potato (45% YoY). The price of onions is at a historic high due to a shortage of supply in the markets despite imports made by the government in November.

The core WPI (excluding food and fuel items), on the other hand, continues to display a disinflationary trend for the fifth consecutive month, citing persistent weak demand in the economy. It stood at -1.5% YoY in December. Even the growth in core CPI almost remained flat at 3.7% YoY in December as against 3.6% YoY in November. Hence, a persistently low core WPI and CPI suggests that the rise in inflation in the economy is temporary, making the fears of stagflation improbable.

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: February 14, 2020

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.