ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2018

RAM Ratings sees higher inflation of 1.6% in March

17 April 2018, 12:33 | Kelvin Horton

A man working in warehouse

Wholesale Inflation stands at 2.47% in March manufacturing index rises

It may be recalled that WPI inflation was at 5.11 per cent in March past year.

Index for "Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas" group declined by 0.5 percent to 80.2 (provisional) from 80.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of crude petroleum (1%).

Inflation in onion continued to remain high at 42.22 per cent and in potato at 43.25 per cent.

"Moreover, while average petrol prices at the pumps dropped 1.4 per cent between February and March this year, that was only a touch bigger than the 0.8 per cent drop seen between the same months in 2017".

Sunil Sinha, Principal Economist, India Ratings & Research, said inflation in the food article category - which has been declining since November 2017- turned into deflation in March 2018.

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.

Despite keeping rates on hold, the committee said that "ongoing tightening of monetary policy" would be needed to bring inflation back to the Bank's 2 per cent target.

The build up in inflation rate in the financial year so far was 2.47% compared to a build up rate of 5.11% in the corresponding period of the previous year.

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.

The median forecast for Brazil's consumer price inflation in the next 12 months increased to 4.02%, from 4.00 last week, according to economists surveyed by the South American country's central bank.

"A significant decline in the inflation of food articles including cereals and pulses is an indicator that the government has rightly focused agriculture sector", Anil Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber was quoted as saying in a statement.

"However, there are some noticeable changes at the disaggregate level".

As per the official government data released Monday, food articles showed deflation at 0.29 per cent in March as against a 0.88 per cent inflation in the preceding month.

However, it noted that some of this upward pressure will be offset by a negative growth contribution from transport fuel amid lower retail fuel prices which fell 4.4% year-on-year.

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