March wholesale inflation eases to 2.47 percent

A vendor arranges vegetable at his stall in a market in Mumbai

A vendor arranges vegetable at his stall in a market in Mumbai

The Japanese government bonds remained flat Monday as investors wait to watch the country's trade balance data for the month of March and the national consumer price inflation (CPI) data for the similar period, scheduled to be released on April 17 and April 19 by 23:50GMT and 23:30GMT respectively.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation came in at 2.47 per cent for March 2018, below market expectations.

It revised downwards its forecast for retail inflation, to 4.7-5.1 percent for the April-September period and 4.4 percent for the October-March period. 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).

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.

Deflation in vegetables was 2.70 percent, pulses (20.58 percent) and wheat (1.19 percent) in March.

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ANZ Bank New Zealand economists said the fees-free first-year tertiary education policy broadly offset any inflationary pressure coming from the usual annual increase in tobacco excise duty, with a 4 per cent fall in the education group instead of its typical first quarter rise.

The index for apparel dropped by 0.9 per cent to 137.8 in March, according to the provisional data released by the Office of the Economic Adviser, ministry of commerce and industry. However, the price of iron ore (15%), chromite (13%), manganese ore (6%), limestone (5%) and zinc concentrate and lead concentrate (1% each) moved up. Similarly, the index for "Non-Food Articles" group declined by 0.3 percent to 120.2 due to lower price of guar seed, floriculture, raw cotton, cottonseed, mustard seed, among others.

Going ahead, the fuel & power which bags 13.15% of total WPI, declined by 0.1% to 98.0 (provisional) from 98.1 (provisional) for the previous month. However, the price of manufacture of cordage, rope, twine and netting and texturised and twisted yarn (1 per cent each) declined.

It was only manufacturing index who saw uptick in March month supporting the growth in WPI. This latest WPI inflation print is the lowest since July 2017.

Despite keeping rates on hold, the committee said that "ongoing tightening of monetary policy" would be needed to bring inflation back to the Bank's 2 per cent target.

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