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16 April 2018, 09:56 | Joann Bryant
A vendor arranges vegetable at his stall in a market in Mumbai
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. Manufactured products inflation was at 3.03 per cent even as sugar prices fell 10.48 per cent during the month.
Furthermore, index for "Non-Food Articles" group declined by 0.3 percent to 120.2 (provisional) from 120.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of guar seed (7%), niger seed (6%), floriculture (5%), raw cotton, cotton seed, skins (raw) and gingelly seed (3% each), copra (coconut) (2%) and linseed, castor seed, raw jute, groundnut seed and rape & mustard seed (1% each). 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).
In addition, the cost on fuel and power category, which commands a 13.15 per cent weightage in the index increased at a slower pace of 4.70 per cent from a growth of 22.35 per cent YoY. The price of petroleum coke (11 per cent) and kerosene (2 per cent) moved up. The movement in core inflation at the retail and wholesale level were in the opposite direction in March 2018.
For 2018, the economists decreased the median inflation estimate for the eleventh consecutive week, to 3.48%, from 3.53% in the previous survey.
Inflation based on wholesale prices slipped marginally to 2.47 per cent in March on falling prices of food items, especially vegetables and pulses.
In contrast, the overall vegetable prices in March deflated (-) 2.70 percent, against a fall of (-) 0.50 percent in the same month a year ago. This is different from the consumer price index-based inflation, which reflects price changes in the retail market.
In its first monetary policy review for 2018-19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier this month maintained status quo on interest rate citing inflationary concerns.
According to the Commerce Ministry data, the WPI inflation in March 2017 was more than double at 5.11 per cent.
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