India's WPI inflation for apparel drops 0.9% in March

India's WPI inflation for apparel drops 0.9% in March

Wholesale price inflation (WPI) in India stood at 2.47% in March, 2018. Manufactured products inflation was at 3.03 per cent even as sugar prices fell 10.48 per cent during the month.

Food prices were 0.3 per cent lower compared to February and services prices shrank by 0.4 per cent, while non-food prices were down by 0.2 per cent.

Food and beverage prices were 0.9 per cent up, on an annual basis, while the price of utilities and housing has increased by 4.6 per cent and transportation costs were 0.7 per cent higher compared to a year earlier.

Food inflation came negative at 0.29% in March against 0.88% in the previous month.

ANZ Bank New Zealand economists said the fees-free first-year tertiary education policy broadly offset any inflationary pressure coming from the usual annual increase in tobacco excise duty, with a 4 per cent fall in the education group instead of its typical first quarter rise. The index for fuel and power (weight 13.15 per cent) also declined by 0.1 per cent to 98.0 from 98.1 for the previous month due to lower price of LPG, naphtha, HSD, bitumen, petrol and furnace oil.

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Meanwhile, the WPI inflation for January 2018 has been revised upwards to 3.02 per cent from a level of 2.84 percent (provisional) earlier. However, the price of petroleum coke and kerosene moved up.

Sunil Kumar Sinha, Director, Public Finance and Principal Economist, India Ratings said: "Unlike the retail inflation which dipped by 16bp in March 2018 over the previous month, the wholesale inflation remained flat".

It revised downwards its forecast for retail inflation, to 4.7-5.1 percent for the April-September period and 4.4 percent for the October-March period.

Primary food articles recorded a year-on-year (YOY) disinflation after a gap of eight months in March 2018, dampened by a YoY contraction in all of the major categories (namely vegetables, cereals, pulses, eggs, meat and fish, other food articles, and condiments and spices) except for fruits and milk, she said.

The CSO data revealed that the consumer food price index (CFPI) stood at 2.81 percent in March compared to 3.26 percent in February 2018. Find us on Facebook too!

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