WPI inflation falls to 2.47% in March on cheaper food prices

WPI inflation falls to 2.47% in March on cheaper food prices

WPI inflation falls to 2.47% in March on cheaper food prices

The Wholesale Price-Indexed (WPI) inflation of the country slipped marginally to 2.47 per cent in March from 2.48 per cent reported for the previous month because of falling prices of food items, especially vegetables and pulses.

According to the data that the Ministry of Commerce & Industry released today, food articles showed deflation at 0.29 per cent in March as against a slight 0.88 per cent inflation in the preceding month.

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.

Core inflation dropped to 3.5 per cent in March 2018 from 3.9 per cent in February 2018.

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The official WPI for all commodities (Base: 2011-12 = 100) for the month of March 2018 rose by 0.2 per cent to 116.0 from previous month's level of 115.8, the data showed.

That compares to the Reserve Bank's quarterly projection of 0.6 per cent for an annual rise of 1.1 per cent.

Prices of the other major group under the WPI, manufactured products, which comprise almost 64.23 per cent of the index, recorded a 3.03 per cent rise.

The index for fuel and power declined by 0.1 per cent to 98 (provisional) from 98.1 (provisional) in February.

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For 2018, the economists decreased the median inflation estimate for the eleventh consecutive week, to 3.48%, from 3.53% in the previous survey.

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.

Product-wise, the price of high-speed diesel rose by 6.12 per cent during March while that of petrol climbed by 2.55 per cent and for LPG by (-) 9.08 per cent.

Sunil Kumar Sinha, Director, Public Finance and Principal Economist, India Ratings said: "Unlike the retail inflation which dipped by 16bp in March 2018 over the previous month, the wholesale inflation remained flat".

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It may be recalled that WPI inflation was at 5.11 per cent in March past year. This is different from the consumer price index-based inflation, which reflects price changes in the retail market.

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