Wholesale Inflation stands at 2.47% in March; manufacturing index rises

Representational Image

Representational Image

The official WPI for all commodities (Base: 2011-12 = 100) for the month of March 2018 rose by 0.2 per cent to 116.0 from previous month's level of 115.8, the data showed.

It revised downwards its forecast for retail inflation, to 4.7-5.1 percent for the April-September period and 4.4 percent for the October-March period.

ANZ Bank New Zealand economists said the fees-free first-year tertiary education policy broadly offset any inflationary pressure coming from the usual annual increase in tobacco excise duty, with a 4 per cent fall in the education group instead of its typical first quarter rise.

"Moreover, while average petrol prices at the pumps dropped 1.4 per cent between February and March this year, that was only a touch bigger than the 0.8 per cent drop seen between the same months in 2017".

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Index of primary articles in WPI declined by 0.5% to 127.4 (provisional) from 128 (provisional) for the previous month.

Deflation in vegetables stood at 2.70 per cent, pulses at 20.58 per cent and wheat at 1.19 per cent last month.

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%).

However, the price of iron ore, chromite, manganese ore, limestone, zinc concentrate and lead concentrate moved up.

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Index for "Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas" group declined by 0.5 percent to 80.2 (provisional) from 80.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of crude petroleum (1%). However, the price of rectified spirit (2%) and country liquor (1%) declined.

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. The economists predict CPI rose 0.5 per cent in the March period, accelerating from a 0.1 per cent quarterly pace in December. This index holds 64.23% of WPI.

Inflation data for January was revised upwards to 3.02 percent from the provisional estimate of 2.84 percent. 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.

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