India Inc expects prices to remain benign as inflation slows


As wholesale eased to 3.57 per cent in September, Inc today said measures taken by the government to contain price rise have borne and hoped that RBI will push banks to bring down rates further.

Going forward, industry and experts anticipate prices to remain benign, estimating wholesale price-based inflation, which reflects the annual rate of price rise, to remain below 4 per cent till the year-end.

The wholesale in August stood at 3.74 per cent.

Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said the anti-inflationary supply side measures of the government have been successful and rising has been brought under control.

“With both retail and wholesale moderating, there is a case for further cut in policy interest rate. Besides, falling industrial production has to be given a lift,” Secretary General D S Rawat said.

Wholesale eased to 3.57 per cent in September as food articles, led by vegetables, witnessed softening of prices.

Retail in the month too dropped to a 13-month low of 4.31 per cent mainly on account of easing vegetable prices, data released on Thursday showed.

“Good monsoons and government action have helped in abating the price level and various assessments indicate prices to remain benign.

“We do hope that going ahead banks will take a cue and further translate this into lower lending rates which is one of the key factors that can help boost IIP which continues to remain dismal,” Ficci President Harshavardhan Neotia said.

Remaining in the negative zone for the second month in a row, industrial production contracted by 0.7 per cent in August due to slump in manufacturing, mining and capital goods segments.

“Despite the flaring up of crude oil prices in the current month, we expect WPI to remain below 4 per cent in October-December quarter. Subsequently, WPI is likely to rise to as much as 4.5 per cent in January-March 2017,” Vice President & Senior Economist at ICRA Limited Aditi Nayar said.

The Monetary Policy Committee headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel had last week cut benchmark by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent.