Wholesale prices climbed 2.47 percent year-over-year in March, nearly in line with February's 2.48 percent increase. It revised downwards forecast for retail inflation to 4.7-5.1 per cent for April-September and 4.4 per cent for October-March.
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%).
On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, onion prices soared higher by 42.22 per cent whereas potato prices rose by 43.25 per cent.
The harmonised CPI figure, calculated by NSI for comparison with European Union data, recorded a decrease of 0.2 per cent on a monthly basis, while the annual harmonised CPI in March showed a 1.9 per cent increase.
Similarly, the protein-based food items such as eggs, meat and fish became cheaper by (-) 0.82 per cent during the month. Manufactured products inflation was at 3.03 per cent even as sugar prices fell 10.48 per cent during the month, as per the monthly data. In February 2018, inflation was at 2.48 per cent.
Given the expectations of more moderate GDP growth and inflation of 5.2% and 2.5%, respectively, in 2018, the research house does not envisage further hikes in the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) this year.
However, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the consumer price index (CPI) last month stood higher than the 3.89 per cent reported in March 2017.
Food deflation stood at 0.29 per cent in March, compared to inflation of 0.88 per cent in February.
"Unlike the retail inflation which dipped by 16bps in March 2018 over the previous month, the wholesale inflation remained flat". Inflation in the fuel and power basket, however, rose to 4.70 per cent in March from 3.81 per cent in February.
According to the data that the Ministry of Commerce & Industry released today, food articles showed deflation at 0.29 per cent in March as against a slight 0.88 per cent inflation in the preceding month.
"During March 2018, the movement in core inflation at the retail and wholesale level has been in opposite direction".
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