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Wholesale Price Index (WPI) Inflation Hits Nine-Month High at 0.73% in December 2023

In December 2023, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation surged to a nine-month high of 0.73%, marking a significant rebound from the negative zone observed from April to October. This positive trajectory, a continuation from November’s 0.26%, was primarily driven by notable increases in food prices, according to a statement by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

December 2023, Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation: Key Factors

  1. Food Prices Propel Inflation: The spike in WPI inflation is attributed to a sharp rise in prices of food articles, machinery & equipment, other manufacturing, other transport equipment, and computer, electronics & optical products.

  2. Food Inflation Surges: Food inflation soared to 9.38% in December, up from 8.18% in November. Notably, vegetable prices witnessed a remarkable increase of 26.30%, while pulses recorded a 19.60% inflation rate.
  3. Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 4-Month High: Simultaneously, the Retail or Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December reached a four-month high of 5.69%, as revealed in recent data.
  4. RBI’s Cautionary Stance: In response to the inflationary trends, the Reserve Bank, in its bi-monthly monetary policy last month, maintained interest rates, flagging concerns over the escalating food inflation observed in November and December.

Key Takeaways on December 2023 WPI Inflation for Competitive Exams

1. WPI Surge: In December 2023, Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation hit a nine-month high at 0.73%, signaling a rebound from negative figures earlier in the year.

2. Driving Forces: The upswing is primarily attributed to significant increases in food prices, machinery, manufacturing, transport equipment, and electronics, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

3. Food Inflation Peaks: Food inflation rose to 9.38%, with vegetables and pulses experiencing substantial hikes of 26.30% and 19.60%, respectively.

4. CPI Highlight: Concurrently, Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached a four-month high at 5.69% for December, emphasizing broader inflationary trends.

5. RBI’s Caution: The Reserve Bank, in its recent bi-monthly policy, maintained interest rates, citing concerns about rising food inflation in November and December.

6. Policy Implications: The data underscores the need for vigilant economic policy management, especially in addressing the challenges posed by food price volatility.

Important Questions Related to Exams

  1. What was the Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation in December 2023, and what contributed to its increase?
  2. Highlight the key sectors driving the positive inflation rate in December according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  3. How much did food inflation rise in December, and what were the inflation rates for vegetables and pulses?
  4. What was the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December 2023, and what does it signify in terms of inflation trends?

Kindly share your responses in the comment section!!

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