WPI inflation at 2.47 pct in March

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

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

Deflation in vegetables stood at 2.70 per cent, pulses at 20.58 per cent and wheat at 1.19 per cent last month.

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.

"We suspect that these factors will mean that we see another step-down in CPI inflation in March such that it falls to a one-year low of 2.5 per cent".

Wholesale price-indexed (WPI) inflation softened to 2.47 per cent in March from 2.48 per cent reported for the previous month, official data showed on Monday. The data for February had, in fact, shown a marginal softening in this basket. 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).

However, the price of raw silk, mesta and hides, sunflower, soyabean, fodder, raw wool, coir fibre and raw rubber moved up. This index rose by 0.4% to 115.7 (provisional) from 115.2 (provisional) for the previous month.

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Inflation in onion continued to stay high at 42.22 per cent and in potato at 43.25 per cent. The index for fuel and power (weight 13.15 per cent) also declined by 0.1 per cent to 98.0 from 98.1 for the previous month due to lower price of LPG, naphtha, HSD, bitumen, petrol and furnace oil.

The index for "Non-Food Articles" group declined by 0.3 percent to 120.2 from 120.6 for the previous month due to lower price of guar seed, niger seed, floriculture, raw cotton, cottonseed, mustard seed, among others.

The index for "Minerals" group declined by 2% to 119.7 (provisional) from 122.2 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of copper concentrate (14%) and phosphorite (1%).

In its first monetary policy review for 2018-19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier this month maintained status quo on interest rate citing inflationary concerns.

It may be recalled that WPI had come in at 5.11 per cent in March past year.

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