Wholesale Inflation stands at 2.47% in March; manufacturing index rises

A vendor arranges vegetable at his stall in a market in Mumbai

A vendor arranges vegetable at his stall in a market in Mumbai

A consensus of economists forecast the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) to come in at 2.7 per cent for March, in line with February's reading and holding below the 3 per cent recorded in January.

India's wholesale price-indexed (WPI) inflation softened to 2.47 percent in March from 2.48 percent reported for the previous month, official data showed on Monday. The reduction in pulse prices was pegged at 20.58%, in vegetables at 2.70%, wheat at 1.19 % and egg, meat and fish at 0.82% in March.

The index for "food articles" group declined by 0.4 per cent to 137.2 from 137.8 for the previous month, despite a price rise in items like ragi, jowar, peas/chawali, moong and paddy, among others.

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Food prices were 0.3 per cent lower compared to February and services prices shrank by 0.4 per cent, while non-food prices were down by 0.2 per cent.

The data disclosed that prices of food articles dipped by (-) 0.29 per cent from an acceleration of 0.88 per cent in the previous corresponding month. However, the price of raw silk (7%), mesta and hides (raw) (5% each), sunflower (4%), soyabean (3%), fodder (2%) and raw wool, coir fibre and raw rubber (1% each) moved up.

Prices of non-food articles fell (-) 1.39 percent in March, compared with 3.83 percent a year ago and (-) 2.66 percent in February.

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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.

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, onion prices soared higher by 42.22 percent whereas potato prices rose by 43.25 percent.

According to the Commerce Ministry data, the WPI inflation in March 2017 was more than double at 5.11 per cent. However, the March 2018 inflation is higher than 3.89 per cent recorded in the same month a year ago.

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In its first monetary policy review for the fiscal, the Reserve Bank had earlier this month maintained status-quo on interest rate citing inflationary concerns.

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