India's wholesale inflation softens to 2.47 per cent

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Inflation based on wholesale prices eased marginally to 2.47 percent in March on cheaper food articles, especially pulses and vegetables.

Meanwhile, manufactured products inflation for March 2018 came in at 3.03 per cent, lower than 3.22 per cent in the same month past year.

Inflation in "fuel and power" basket however rose to 4.70% in March from 3.81% in the previous month.

The index for Non-Food Articles group declined by 0.3 percent to 120.2 (provisional) from 120.6 (provisional) for the previous month.

In contrast, the overall vegetable prices in March deflated (-) 2.70 per cent, against a fall of (-) 0.50 per cent in the same month a year ago. 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.

However, the price of raw silk, mesta and hides, sunflower, soyabean, fodder, raw wool, coir fibre and raw rubber moved up.

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On a sequential basis, expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI's total weightage, inched up by 0.24 per cent, from an increase of 0.79 per cent in February.

The CSO data revealed that the consumer food price index (CFPI) stood at 2.81 per cent in March compared to 3.26 per cent in February 2018.

"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.

The index for "Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas" group declined by 0.5% to 80.2 (provisional) from 80.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of crude petroleum (1%). This index rose by 0.4% to 115.7 (provisional) from 115.2 (provisional) for the previous month.

Food articles inflation contracted in March 2018 at 0.29 per cent.

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