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. For 2019, the forecast decreased to 4.07%, from 4.09% last week, after two decreases.
"Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 2.47 percent compared to a build up rate of 5.11 percent in the corresponding period of the previous year".
Deflation in vegetables was 2.70 percent, pulses (20.58 percent) and wheat (1.19 percent) in March.
"Given that the high-base effect is expected to continue to moderate the contribution from the transport component, headline inflation is envisaged to ease to 2.5% in 2018 after charting 3.7% in 2017".
Wholesale food prices in March fell 0.07% year-on-year, compared with a 0.07% rise a month earlier.
The overall prices have fallen, as food articles have turned cheaper in the last few months. This was mainly driven by the sharp correction in prices of vegetables, he said.
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The CSO data revealed that the consumer food price index (CFPI) stood at 2.81 per cent in March compared to 3.26 per cent in February 2018. 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).
"Unlike the retail inflation which dipped by 16bps in March 2018 over the previous month, the wholesale inflation remained flat".
"During March 2018, the movement in core inflation at the retail and wholesale level has been in opposite direction".
Nayar said the rise in global crude petroleum and natural gas prices, as well as the recent depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, is likely to push the WPI inflation up in April.
"However, the extent of pass through of higher crude oil prices to retail fuel prices, in light of whether the uptick is absorbed by oil marketing companies or cuts in excise/VAT are instituted by central or state governments, remains to be seen".