Inflation at the wholesale level quickened to 5.77% in June, the highest since December 2013, driven in large part by rising fuel prices, according to official data released on Monday.

Growth in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) accelerated in June from 4.43% in May, and is far higher than the 0.9% seen in June last year.

Marginal rise

While inflation in the primary articles component of the index quickened to 5.3% in June from 3.16% in May, this was not due to food price inflation, which accelerated only marginally to 1.8% from 1.6% over the same period. “Paddy inflation showed a decline on a monthly basis, but the announcement of kharif MSP [minimum support price] by the Union government is expected to push it beyond the current levels,” Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist, India Ratings and Research, wrote in a note.

The real upward push in wholesale inflation came from the crude petroleum and natural gas segment, which saw inflation surging to 48.7% in June from 26.9% in the previous month. Similarly, the fuel and power segment saw inflation quicken to 16.2% from 11.2% over the same period. Wholesale inflation in manufacturing accelerated in June to 4.17% from 3.73% in May.

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