Inflation 'likely to have held steady in March' experts predict

Monday, 16 Apr, 2018

However, the price of ragi (3%), jowar and fish-marine (2% each) and peas/chawali, moong, betel leaves, wheat, paddy and pork (1% each) moved up.

India's annual wholesale price inflation slightly eased in March, at 2.47 percent, a nine-month low, owing to a fall in prices of vegetables and other food and beverages, data from Ministry of Commerce & Industry revealed on Monday.

Economists expect the consumers price index rose at an annual pace of 1.1 per cent the three months ended March, slowing from a 1.6 per cent pace in the December quarter, according to a survey by Bloomberg. WPI Food Index holds 24.38% in the overall wholesale inflation. 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). Manufactured products inflation was at 3.03 per cent even as sugar prices fell 10.48 per cent during the month. This latest WPI inflation print is the lowest since July 2017.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, hovered around 0.04 percent, the yield on the long-term 30-year note almost steadied at 0.70 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year remained flat at -0.15 percent by 04:50 GMT.

The index for "Non-Food Articles" group declined by 0.3 percent 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.

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.

The index for "Minerals" group declined by 2% to 119.7 (provisional) from 122.2 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of copper concentrate (14%) and phosphorite (1%).

The index for fuel and power declined by 0.1 per cent to 98 (provisional) from 98.1 (provisional) in February. It revised downwards forecast for retail inflation to 4.7-5.1 per cent for April-September and 4.4 per cent for October-March.

In its first monetary policy review for the fiscal, the Reserve Bank had earlier this month maintained status-quo on interest rate citing inflationary concerns.