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Inflation can be defined as a persistent rise in the general price of goods and services of common or daily use — such as clothing, food, fuel, transport, etc — which results in an increase in the cost of living.
Inflation is the measure of change in average price of services and commodities, done at regular intervals. It indicates a decrease in the purchasing power of a unit of a nation’s currency as the products and services get more expensive. Basically, inflation is the difference between aggregate demand and aggregate supply of goods and services. When aggregate demand exceeds the supply of goods at current prices, there is a rise in the price level.
A certain level of inflation is required in the economy to ensure that expenditure is promoted and money hoarding through savings is discouraged.
How is inflation measured?
In India, there are two main sets of inflation indices to measure changes in price levels — Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Wholesale Price Index (WPI). These indices measure changes at the retail and wholesale price levels, respectively. CPI tracks any shift in retail prices of essential and daily goods and services consumed by households across the country. In short, it captures changes in price level at the consumer level.
WPI, on the other hand, is the average change in the price of commodities at the wholesale level. It considers the price of goods traded among corporations, not goods purchased by consumers. The aim of WPI is to monitor price drifts that reflect demand and supply in manufacturing, industry and construction.