Wholesale inflation softens marginally to 2.47% as food items turn cheaper

Wholesale food prices in March fell 0.07% year-on-year compared with a 0.07% rise a month earlier

Wholesale inflation eases marginally at 2.47% in March

Mr Brown highlighted BRC Shop Price Index data, which showed food prices dropping at their fastest rate in 18 months in March, which could have a larger impact on the inflation figure alongside fuel costs.

Wholesale inflation witnessed a growth of 2.48 percent in February and 5.11 percent in March, 2017.

Inflation in food articles declined by 0.4% to 137.2, from 137.8 for the previous month due to lower price of egg, gram, tea, coffee, poultry chicken and condiments and spices, among others.

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.

Economists expect the consumers price index rose at an annual pace of 1.1 per cent the three months ended March, slowing from a 1.6 per cent pace in the December quarter, according to a survey by Bloomberg. However, the price of ragi (3%), jowar and fish-marine (2% each) and peas/chawali, moong, betel leaves, wheat, paddy and pork (1% each) moved up.

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As per the official government data released Monday, food articles showed deflation at 0.29 per cent in March as against a 0.88 per cent inflation in the preceding month. However, the price of raw silk (7%), mesta and hides (raw) (5% each), sunflower (4%), soyabean (3%), fodder (2%) and raw wool, coir fibre and raw rubber (1% each) moved up.

Wholesale prices climbed 2.47 percent year-over-year in March, nearly in line with February's 2.48 percent increase.

Meanwhile, the Nikkei 335 index traded 0.29 percent higher at 21,841.50 by 04:55 GMT, while at 04:00GMT, the FxWirePro's Hourly JPY Strength Index remained neutral at -51.48 (a reading above +75 indicates a bullish trend, while that below -75 a bearish trend).

"The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 2.47 per cent (provisional) for March 2018 (over March 2017) as compared to 2.48 per cent (provisional) for the previous month and 5.11 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year", the commerce ministry said in its report.

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