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

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According to the Commerce Ministry data, the WPI inflation in March 2017 was more than double at 5.11 percent.

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. The index for electricity group rose by 2.9 per cent to 105.4 (provisional) from 102.4 (provisional) due to higher price of electricity (3 per cent).

The harmonised CPI figure, calculated by NSI for comparison with European Union data, recorded a decrease of 0.2 per cent on a monthly basis, while the annual harmonised CPI in March showed a 1.9 per cent increase.

The overall prices have fallen, as food articles have turned cheaper in the last few months. Manufactured products inflation was at 3.03 per cent even as sugar prices fell 10.48 per cent during the month.

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"Given that the high-base effect is expected to continue to moderate the contribution from the transport component, headline inflation is envisaged to ease to 2.5% in 2018 after charting 3.7% in 2017". Meanwhile, the rate was forecast to rise to 2.5 percent. Retail inflation also slipped to a five-month low of 4.28 per cent in March on account of decline in food prices.

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

However, rising crude oil prices pushed up inflation in the "fuel and power" basket to 4.70 per cent in March from 3.81 per cent in the previous month.

Manufactured products inflation was at 3.03 per cent, lower than 3.22 per cent in the same month previous year. However, the March 2018 inflation is higher than 3.89 per cent recorded in the same month previous year.

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

Martin Beck, lead United Kingdom economist at Oxford Economics, said: "Although we think that 2018 as a whole will see a steady decline in price pressures, March may have proved an exception to that".

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. Find us on Facebook too!

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