New Delhi: Costlier vegetables, pulses and sugar pushed WPI inflation for the third straight month in June to 1.62 percent, queering the pitch for the Reserve Bank to reduce rates in its August policy meet.
The wholesale price-based inflation, reflecting the annual rate of price rise, during June was also substantially higher than 0.79 percent in May and (-)2.13 percent in June 2015.
Wholesale price index (WPI) inflation in vegetables shot up by 16.91 percent last month. While, inflation print for cereals stood at 6.32 percent.
Potato, a daily consumable among Indian households, turned pretty expensive during the month as buyers had to shell out 64.48 percent more than a year ago.
Among others, the rate of price rise in pulses was at 26.61 percent, sugar 26.09 percent and that for fruits the inflation during the month rose by 5.97 percent.
Overall food inflation was at 8.18 percent, showed the data released by the Commerce Ministry.
WPI inflation has been firming up for the last three months, after remaining in the negative zone for around one-and-a-half-years.
An elevated wholesale inflation in June follows spike in retail inflation, announced on Tuesday, that hit a 22-month high of 5.77 percent during the month.
But, onion, minerals, fuel and power, and petrol became pocket friendly as prices declined by 28.60 percent, 20.75 percent, 3.62 percent and 8.74 percent, respectively.
Among manufactured articles, the wholesale inflation print read at 1.17 percent in June and that for edible oils it firmed up by 3.42 percent.
"A jump of 37.4 percent in cereals inflation between May and June is a cause of worry. Although monsoon is expected to be above normal this year but some delay in its reaching in many parts of country delayed the sowing kharif crop," he said.
"RBI would not be in a position to address the demand and supply in India when CPI is at high level, therefore now the economy of India is in need of strong actions from government to address the structural issues of demand and supply," industry body Assocham said.