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Inflation 'likely to have held steady in March' experts predict

16 April 2018

The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 2.47% (provisional) for the month of March, 2018 (over March, 2017) as compared to 2.48% (provisional) for the previous month and 5.11% during the corresponding month of the previous year, an official release said Monday.

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. Meanwhile, the rate was forecast to rise to 2.5 percent. Further the current month data was also lower compared to 5.11% in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The index for this major group declined by 0.5% to 127.4 (provisional) from 128 (provisional) for the previous month. Deflation in pulses was 20.58 per cent, in vegetables (2.70 per cent), wheat (1.19 per cent) and egg, meat and fish (0.82 per cent) in March. The index for "Manufacture of Wearing Apparel" sub-group declined by 0.9 per cent to 137.8 from 139.0 for the previous month due to lower price of woven apparel, except fur apparel, and knitted and crocheted apparel (1 per cent each).

The inflation data for January was revised upwards to 3.02 per cent from the provisional estimate of 2.84 per cent.

However, the price of iron ore, chromite, manganese ore, limestone, zinc concentrate and lead concentrate moved up. Similarly, the index for "Non-Food Articles" group declined by 0.3 percent to 120.2 due to lower price of guar seed, floriculture, raw cotton, cottonseed, mustard seed, among others.

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The index for this major group declined by 0.1% to 98 (provisional) from 98.1 (provisional) for the previous month. However, the price of rectified spirit (2%) and country liquor (1%) declined.

It was only manufacturing index who saw uptick in March month supporting the growth in WPI.

The index for fuel and power declined by 0.1 per cent to 98 (provisional) from 98.1 (provisional) in February. This index holds 64.23% of WPI.

"We suspect that these factors will mean that we see another step-down in CPI inflation in March such that it falls to a one-year low of 2.5 per cent". WPI Food Index holds 24.38% in the overall wholesale inflation.

Inflation 'likely to have held steady in March' experts predict