New WPI index to be out in May

Base year will be 2004-05

The new index, with 2004-05 as the base year, will have 250 new items and is expected to provide a more realistic picture of price rise and its impact on people. “As per the calendar, April data would be release on May 14 with the new base year,” a senior official told PTI.

The new series would have about 680-685 items that include mobile phones among others and close to 25 old items would be knocked off from the new inflation series.

The Wholesale Price Inflation (WPI) is at present calculated with 1993-94 as the base year. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which brings out the inflation data, has been doing test run for the past 5-6 weeks and the concurrent run would be done for February.

Most of the additions would be in the manufacturing products category and the primary items, which consist of foodgrain and milk, would remain unchanged. There could be minor changes in the fuel, power light and lubricant group.

With the addition of new items on the manufacturing side, the weight of the food article group would decline by about 2-3 percentage in the new WPI.  In the existing series (1993-94), the weight of primary articles is 22.02 per cent while manufactured products contribute 63.75 per cent. The weight of fuel, power, light and lubricants in the index is about 14 per cent.

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