Wholesale inflation eases marginally at 2.47% in March


India’s wholesale inflation eased marginally hitting nine-month low of 2.47 percent growth in March, as prices of vegetables and other food items softened, latest price data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed.

Wholesale inflation witnessed a growth of 2.48 percent in February and 5.11 percent in March, 2017. The January’s rate of increase in price rise has been revised to 3.02 percent from 2.84 percent.

Wholesale inflation rate, measured by Wholesale Price Index (WPI), is a marker for price movements in bulk buys for traders and broadly mirrors trends in shop-end prices.

“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.

Primary articles, which accounts for more than a fifth of the entire wholesale price index, grew 0.24 percent in March from 3.33 percent year a percent ago and 0.79 percent in February.

Food and non-food articles, wheat, pulses, vegetables, fibres and cereals witnessed disinflation during March. Prices of pulses continued to slump for a year now, with rate of decline relatively slowing at (-)20.58 percent in March compared to fall of (-)24.51 percent in February and (-)7.78 a year ago.

Prices of non-food articles fell (-)1.39 percent in March, compared with 3.83 percent a year ago and (-)2.66 percent in February.

“Primary food articles recorded a year-on-year disinflation after a gap of eight months in March 2018, dampened by a year-on-year 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,” Nayar said.

Fuel and power inflation, which has a weightage of 13.15 percent in the index, eased at 4.70 percent in March from 22.35 percent a year ago and 3.81 percent in February. Petrol prices grew 2.55 percent in March from 43.38 percent a year ago.moneycontrol