India's wholesale inflation softens to 2.47 percent

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

"After the surge seen in the previous month, the core-WPI inflation eased to a three-month low of 3.6 percent in March from 3.9 percent in February, reflecting a favourable base effect as well as the trend in a number of sub-sectors with a substantial weight such as textiles, basic metals, fabricated metal products, and motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers etc", Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist at ICRA said.

Wholesale food prices in March fell 0.07% year-on-year, compared with a 0.07% rise a month earlier.

India's wholesale inflation eased marginally hitting nine-month low of 2.47 percent growth in March, as prices of vegetables and other food items softened, latest price data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed.

Deflation in vegetables was 2.70 per cent, pulses (20.58 per cent) and wheat (1.19 per cent) in March.

Inflation in non-food articles too declined by 0.3% to 120.2 from 120.6 for the previous month due to lower price of guar seed, niger seed, floriculture, raw cotton, cottonseed, mustard seed, among others.

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On a monthly basis, wholesale prices increased 0.2 percent at the end of the first quarter.

That compares to the Reserve Bank's quarterly projection of 0.6 per cent for an annual rise of 1.1 per cent. However, the price of raw silk, mesta and hides, sunflower, soyabean, fodder, raw wool, coir fibre and raw rubber all moved up. The price of petroleum coke (11 per cent) and kerosene (2 per cent) moved up.

The inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key data factored in by the RBI to arrive at interest rate, was 4.44 per cent in February. 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 inflation data for January was revised upwards to 3.02 per cent from the provisional estimate of 2.84 per cent.

INFLATION is expected to have held steady in March as a drop in food and fuel prices was offset by higher airfares around the earlier Easter holidays.

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