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Wholesale Inflation stands at 2.47% in March; manufacturing index rises

Wholesale Inflation stands at 2.47% in March; manufacturing index rises

Inflation based on wholesale prices slipped marginally to 2.47% in March on falling prices of food items, especially vegetables and pulses.

On a monthly basis, wholesale prices increased 0.2 percent at the end of the first quarter.

Under this, index for "Food Articles" group declined by 0.4 percent to 137.2 (provisional) from 137.8 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of egg (5%), gram, tea, coffee, poultry chicken and condiments & spices (3% each), rajma (2%) and fish-inland, masur, bajra, fruits & vegetables and beef and buffalo meat (1% each).

On the basis of Wholesale Price Index, inflation was 2.48 per cent in February and 5.11 per cent in March past year. The three categories account for about 49.7 per cent of the harmonised CPI basket.

For 2018, the economists decreased the median inflation estimate for the eleventh consecutive week, to 3.48%, from 3.53% in the previous survey.

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Moreover, the retail inflation eased to 4.28 per cent, a five-month low in March, but remained above RBI's medium-term target, supporting views that monetary policy is likely to remain unchanged at the next review in early June. However, the March 2018 inflation is higher than 3.89 per cent recorded in the same month previous year.

The index for manufactured products (weight 64.23 per cent) for March 2018 rose by 0.4 per cent to 115.7 from 115.2 for the previous month.

The index for primary articles (weight 22.62 per cent) declined by 0.5 per cent to 127.4 from 128.0 for the previous month.

"We knew that poor weather was going to push fresh vegetable prices higher but we hadn't expected the 10.6 per cent increase that occurred in this subgroup".

Index for "Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas" group declined by 0.5 percent to 80.2 (provisional) from 80.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of crude petroleum (1%).

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