CPI rose by 2 points in November 2013

The Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers or CPI-IW increased slightly by 2 points to 11.47% and pegged at 243 in November 2013 compared to 11.06% in October and 9.55% in the same month last year on account of higher prices of food items.

On one month percentage change, it rose by 0.83% between October and November compared with 0.46% between the same two months in 2012.  Food inflation was estimated at 16.175 against 15.02% of the previous month and 10.85% during the same month of year 2012. As per official data, inflation in food items was the largest contributor to the upward movement of the current index contributing 2.23% points to the total change.

Among food commodities the main contributors to the rise in index were rice, wheat, wheat atta, milk, pure ghee, garlic, potato, tomato, other vegetable items and Tea readymade. However, the rise in index was moderated to some extent by groundnut oil, fresh fish, poultry, onion, ginger, electric charges, medicine (allopathic), petrol putting downward force on the index. At centre level, Bokaro registered the highest surge of 11 points followed by Giridih, Kodarma, and Angul—Talcher (9 points each), Munger—Jamalpur (8 points) and Rourkela, Sholapur and Raniganj (7 points each).

On the other hand, Surat reported a fall of 6 points followed by Amritsar, Bhavnagar and Vadodara (4 points each), Coonoor and Nagpur (2 points each) and Ahmedabad centre one point. At national level, the indices of 40 centres are above the all India Index and other 38 centres’ indices are below national average.

What is CPI-IW (Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers)?

The CPI-IW or Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers is an economic indicator used by the government in India to gauge inflation for a particular segment of the consumer market. To do this, it sets up a baseline for the purchasing power of industrial workers at a particular point in time and comparing what the same amount of money can purchase in following years. If purchasing power falls, inflation has rendered the prices of consumer goods to increase. The percentage rise in prices over the baseline is considered the country’s rate of inflation.

Estimating CPI is part of the economic policy of most countries. Developed nations such as the US and the UK, track CPI for the whole population. Developing nations, like India, find it less useful to track the purchasing habits of the entire population as a whole, because there is great extent of inequality in the standard of living between urban and rural workers. To track CPI, India classifies its population into four classes, these are: 

  1. Urban non-manual employees
  2. Agricultural Laborer
  3. Rural Laborer
  4. Industrial Worker
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