Lower food prices help ease March retail inflation

IIP Services Manufacturing

IIP Services Manufacturing

It added that the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ended March over the average of the CPI for previous 12-month period was 15.60 per cent.

As per the latest data, this is the third consecutive month where inflation softened after hitting a 17-month high in December.

Overall, inflation in the food basket stood at 2.81 per cent, lower than 3.26 per cent in February.

The Nigerian economy has recorded a drop in the inflation rate for the 14th consecutive time since January 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

Consumer food prices rose 2.81% in March, compared with 3.26% in February, as prices of pulses fell more than 13.4% from a year earlier.

Separately, India's annual industrial output grew 7.1 percent in February, data released on Thursday showed, in line with 7.0 percent forecast in a Reuters poll.

Having lowered inflation expectations, RBI did not increase policy rates in the last monetary policy committee meeting.

Manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 77 per cent of the index, grew at 8.7 per cent in February as compared to nearly flat growth of 0.7 per cent in the same month a year ago.

Consumer price inflation in the country, based on the consumer price index (CPI), eased further to 4.28 per cent in March 2018 from 4.44 per cent in February after remaining above the 5.00 per cent levels in January and December previous year. CPI, a key data factored in by the RBI to decide the interest rate, was 4.44 per cent in February.

However during April-February, IIP growth slowed to 4.3 per cent from 4.7 per cent in the same period last fiscal.

In terms of industries, 15 out of the 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during February 2018. "IIP in February 2018 stands at 127.7, which is 7.1 percent higher as compared to the level in the month of February 2017".

However, Deloitte India's lead economist Anis Chakravarty said inflationary pressure is likely to remain tilted to the upside and may hover around the 5 per cent mark in the current financial year.

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