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Indian Wholesale and Consumer Price Indices

Brian Sturgess - September 2011

The Central Statistics Office of the Government of India launched a new Consumer Price Index (CPI) which will start producing consumer price inflation estimates from January 2012. The creation of the new index is a delayed response to the findings of the National Statistical Commission which found deficiencies in the existing systems of price data collection and the compilation of indices.

1. Indian Price Indices

The official price indices compiled and published in India are based upon two types of price data: wholesale and retail transactions. After years of planning a new all India Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all categories of both urban and rural working households was launched with effect from February 2011 which will start producing consumer price inflation estimates from January 2012. This is produced by the Central Statistics Office of the Government of India. [1] Prior to the launch of the new CPI four different types of consumer price indices were produced. These indices aimed at measuring the price level of different baskets of consumer goods purchased by specific types of workers: urban and rural; industrial and non-manual. The Central Statistical Organisation published one of these four price indices that for the middle-classes or urban non-manual employees (CPI-UNME), while the three other consumer price indices for industrial workers (CPI-IW), for agricultural and for rural labourers (CPI-AL and CPI-RL) are all compiled and published monthly by the Labour Bureau of the Government of India.[2]

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) is based on the weighted average price of a basket of a large number and variety of industrial and farm transactions and is published eve...

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