India's Wholesale Price Inflation Slows Marginally In March

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 16, 2018

Retail inflation, as per data released last week, slipped to a five-month low of 4.28 per cent in March on account of decline in food prices. Further the current month data was also lower compared to 5.11% in the corresponding period of the previous year.

"The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 2.47 per cent (provisional) for March 2018 (over March 2017) as compared to 2.48 per cent (provisional) for the previous month and 5.11 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year", the commerce ministry said in its report.

It revised downwards its forecast for retail inflation, to 4.7-5.1 percent for the April-September period and 4.4 percent for the October-March period.

The index for primary articles rose only 0.24 percent annually in March, while prices of food articles dropped by 0.29 percent.

The index for primary articles (weight 22.62 per cent) declined by 0.5 per cent to 127.4 from 128.0 for the previous month. However, the price of ragi (3%), jowar and fish-marine (2% each) and peas/chawali, moong, betel leaves, wheat, paddy and pork (1% each) moved up.

The inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key data factored in by the RBI to arrive at interest rate, was 4.44 per cent in February.

However, the price of iron ore, chromite, manganese ore, limestone, zinc concentrate and lead concentrate moved up.

The index for "Electricity" group rose by 2.9 percent to 105.4 (provisional) from 102.4 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of electricity (3%).

The index for "Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas" group declined by 0.5 percent to 80.2 from 80.6 for the previous month due to lower price of crude petroleum. However, the price of manufacture of cordage, rope, twine and netting and texturised and twisted yarn (1 per cent each) declined.

Going ahead, the fuel & power which bags 13.15% of total WPI, declined by 0.1% to 98.0 (provisional) from 98.1 (provisional) for the previous month. This index holds 64.23% of WPI.

WPI inflation eases to 2.47% in March as food articles turn cheaper.

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation probably slowed in the first three months of the year as the government's "fees free" tertiary education policy comes into effect, removing price pressures in the sector.

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