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WPI inflation eases to 2.47 per cent

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Inflation based on wholesale prices eased to an eight-month low of 2.47 per cent in March on cheaper food articles, including pulses, vegetables and eggs.

Manufactured products inflation was at 3.03 per cent, lower than 3.22 per cent in the same month previous year.

Food prices were 0.3 per cent lower compared to February and services prices shrank by 0.4 per cent, while non-food prices were down by 0.2 per cent.

The wholesale prices of food articles fell 0.29 per cent in March compared to a 0.88 per cent rise in the previous month.

Prices of the other major group under the WPI, manufactured products, which comprise almost 64.23 per cent of the index, recorded a 3.03 per cent rise.

As per CSO data, inflation in the vegetables segment cooled to 11.7 per cent in March from 17.57 per cent in the previous month.

The official WPI for "All Commodities" (Base: 2011-12=100) for the month of March, 2018 rose by 0.2 percent to 116.0 (provisional) from 115.8 (provisional) for the previous month.

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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.

Furthermore, index for "Non-Food Articles" group declined by 0.3 percent to 120.2 (provisional) from 120.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of guar seed (7%), niger seed (6%), floriculture (5%), raw cotton, cotton seed, skins (raw) and gingelly seed (3% each), copra (coconut) (2%) and linseed, castor seed, raw jute, groundnut seed and rape & mustard seed (1% each). However, the price of petroleum coke and kerosene moved up.

"Unlike the retail inflation which dipped by 16bps in March 2018 over the previous month, the wholesale inflation remained flat".

According to the Commerce Ministry data, the WPI inflation in March 2017 was more than double at 5.11 per cent.

"However, there are some noticeable changes at the disaggregate level".

The CSO data revealed that the consumer food price index (CFPI) stood at 2.81 percent in March compared to 3.26 percent in February 2018. The retail inflation slowed down mainly on account of easing food prices including vegetables.

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