Costly vegetables, particularly potato and onion, pushed the November wholesale inflation to a 14-month high of 7.52%, making it difficult for the Reserve Bank to ease key policy rate.
Vegetable prices shot up by 95.25% in November as compared to 78.38% in the previous month, said the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation data released today. The overall inflation in the food segment comprising wheat, pulses, vegetables, milk, among others, was at 19.93%, up from 18.19% in October.
The rise in WPI comes after the retail or consumer price inflation jumped to 11.24%. The inflation was at 7% in October and 7.05% in the earlier month (revised upwards from 6.46%). Potato prices shot up by 26.71% in November as compared to a contraction in the previous month. The onions too were costly, but the price rise was low as compared to October. Onion inflation was at 190.34% in November.
The data further revealed that protein rich items like egg, meat and fish were costlier by 15.19% while milk was dearer by 6.25% in November. The inflation in fuel and power segment was at 11.08% in the month under review, up from 10.33% in October. The price rise in the manufactured products rose to 2.64% from 2.50%.
The WPI inflation for November 2013 is the highest since September 2012 when it was 8.1%.
Amid slowing industrial production, the RBI is scheduled to review the monetary policy on December 18. It had hiked the key lending rate by 0.25% in each of its previous two policy reviews to contain inflation.