India’s wholesale prices fall for 17th straight month in March

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 19, 2016 14:00 IST
Wholesale price-based inflation remained in the negative zone for the 17th month in a row. (AFP File Photo)

Wholesale price-based inflation remained in the negative zone for the 17th month in a row at (-)0.85% in March even as prices of some food articles, mainly pulses, turned costlier.

The March wholesale price index-based inflation was higher than (-)0.91% in February. In March last year, it was (-)2.33%.

This is the 17th-straight month since November 2014 when deflationary pressure persisted.

Food inflation stood at 3.73% in March compared with 3.35% in February, showed official data released on Monday.

Inflation in vegetables came in at (-)2.26% in March while the same in pulses was high at 34.45%.

Onion and fruits saw easing of prices, with these sub-indices falling by 17.65% and 2.13%, respectively.

The inflation print in the fuel and power segment was (-)8.30%, and for manufactured products, it read (-)0.13% in March.

The January WPI inflation has been revised lower to (-)1.07% from the provisional estimate of (-)0.90%.

The Reserve Bank mainly looks at retail inflation data while firming up its monetary policy stance. Retail inflation in March fell to a six-month low of 4.83%.

The RBI had earlier this month cut the key policy rate by 0.25% and projected retail inflation to be around 5% this fiscal.

It said there were uncertainties over unseasonal rains, the likely spatial and temporal distribution of the monsoon, the low reservoir levels by historical averages and the strength of the recent upturn in commodity prices, especially oil.

The Met department, however, later forecast an above-normal monsoon for this year.

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