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Inflation slows in 1Q on fees-free policy

16 April 2018

You've probably noticed that your wallet has been a lot happier of late. In February this year, WPI inflation had come in at 2.48 per cent.

Moreover, the retail inflation eased to 4.28 per cent, a five-month low in March, but remained above RBI's medium-term target, supporting views that monetary policy is likely to remain unchanged at the next review in early June. 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.

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 yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, hovered around 0.04 percent, the yield on the long-term 30-year note almost steadied at 0.70 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year remained flat at -0.15 percent by 04:50 GMT.

The poll also found the core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile fresh food prices, was expected to rise 0.9 percent in March from a year ago versus a 1.0 percent gain in February.

The index for "Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas" group declined by 0.5% to 80.2 (provisional) from 80.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of crude petroleum (1%).

However, the price of raw silk, mesta and hides, sunflower, soyabean, fodder, raw wool, coir fibre and raw rubber moved up.

The index for this major group rose by 0.4% to 115.7 (provisional) from 115.2 (provisional) for the previous month. The price of petroleum coke (11 per cent) and kerosene (2 per cent) moved up.

Inflation in onion continued to stay high at 42.22 per cent and in potato at 43.25 per cent.

Index for "Minerals" group declined by 2.0 percent to 119.7 (provisional) from 122.2 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of copper concentrate (14%) and phosphorite (1%).

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

On April 12, the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that lower food prices eased March retail inflation to 4.28 per cent from 4.44 per cent in February 2018.

Inflation slows in 1Q on fees-free policy