Wholesale inflation shot up to a 30-month high of 5.25 percent in January as rising global crude oil prices spiked domestic fuel cost, even as food
The wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation, reflecting the annual rate of price rise, in December stood at 3.39 percent.
In January 2016, the print was (-)1.07 percent. The last comparable high level of WPI was witnessed in July 2014 at 5.41 percent. As per Commerce Ministry data, inflation in the 'fuel and power' basket more than doubled to 18.14 percent in January, up from 8.65 percent in the previous month.
Inflation in diesel and petrol shot up to 31.10 percent and 15.66 percent during the month.
Oil prices have been on rise since OPEC in early December decided to cut output for the first time in eight years. Spot LNG prices have also risen from USD 5.25 to about USD 9 per MMBTU on winter heating requirements. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is used for power generation.
As per the data, food inflation basket witnessed contraction for the second month in a row with inflation at (-)0.56 percent in January as against (-)0.70 percent in December.
WPI inflation in vegetables, at (-)32.32 percent in January, saw deflationary pressure for the fifth consecutive month. This was helped by a substantial price fall in onions, which stood at (-)28.86 percent.
Pulse inflation moderated to 6.21 percent, from 18.12 percent in December. Potato prices recorded sharp fall at (-)0.20 percent, from 26.42 percent in the previous month.
Rate of price increase in egg, meat and fish was 3.59 percent during January.
Inflation in manufactured items saw some uptick at 3.99 percent compared with 3.67 percent in December.
While the rate of price rise in sugar was 22.83 percent, for fibres, it was 15.18 percent, and 25.44 percent for minerals.