New Delhi: Wholesale inflation soared to a 23-month high of 3.55 per cent in July as vegetables, pulses and sugar turned costlier.
The wholesale price-based inflation, reflecting the annual rate of price rise, in June stood at 1.62 per cent. In July 2015, WPI inflation was (-)4.00 per cent.
The wholesale inflation last witnessed at a higher level than the July 2016 was in August 2014 at 3.74 per cent. Wholesale price index (WPI) inflation in vegetables shot up by 28.05 per cent in July, while that in pulses rose 35.76 per cent.
Potato, a daily consumable vegetable, saw the price rise during the month at 58.78 per cent.
Among others, the rate of inflation in sugar was at 32.33 per cent and that for fruits rose by 17.30 per cent during the month.
Overall the food inflation basket showed double digit inflation of 11.82 per cent, according to the Commerce Ministry data. All items, barring onion, in the basket showed a rising price pressure.
WPI inflation, which was in the negative zone from November 2013 to March 2016, has been firming up for the last four months.
However, deflationary trend continued in some items like onion at (-)36.29 per cent and petrol at (-)10.30 per cent. The inflation print for manufactured articles read at 1.83 per cent in July, with the rate of price rise in sugar at 32.33 per cent.
The WPI inflation for May has been revised upwards at 1.24 per cent, against provisional estimate of 0.79 per cent. An elevated wholesale inflation in July follows spike in retail inflation, that too hit a 23-month high of 6.07 per cent well above the RBI's comfortable level.
In its monetary policy last week, the RBI had maintained status quo on key rates citing upside risks to 5 per cent inflation target for March 2017.