Wholesale Inflation Cools From Three-Year High

The WPI inflation, reflecting the annual rate of price rise, in February was 6.55 percent.

Inflation for fuel and power segment came at 18.16% in March as compared to 21.02% for the previous month.

Food articles index rose by 0.04 per cent, month-on month, due to higher price of fruits, vegetables and ragi (up 5 per cent each), bajra (2 up per cent) and egg, fish-marine and rice (up 1 per cent each).

Prices of manufactured products, which comprise almost 65 per cent of the index, continued to rise by 2.99 per cent, as compared to 0.13 per cent in March a year ago.

Normura, in one of its report before the numbers, said, "WPI inflation will rise in the next three months before the inflation rate tapers off".

Meanwhile, the all-India consumer price index (CPI) on base 2012=100 stood at 3.81 (provisional) in March, 2017 compared to 3.65 (final) in February, 2017 and 4.83 in March, 2016, according to the Central Statistics Office, ministry of statistics and programme implementation.

"However, the sharp correction in crude oil prices witnessed over the last week would aid in dousing minerals inflation in March 2017".

For 2017-18, it projected retail inflation to average 4.5% in the first half and 5% in the second half. Notwithstanding a mixed trend for commodity prices, the appreciation of the rupee would ease landed costs of various inputs. "This is well below the Mar-13 estimate of 6.8% stated by RBI in its Jan-13 policy". Data released last week showed that retail inflation touched a five-month high of 3.81 per cent in March on costlier food items and non-food products like fuel and light.

The inflation had registered growth in December, January and February.

The index for "Transport, Equipment & Parts" group rose by 0.2 percent to 140.8 (provisional) from 140.5 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of motor vehicles (1%).

  • Leroy Wright