Fall in food prices eases WPI inflation
Slips marginally to 2.47% in March
Reflecting farmers’ woes, wholesale price food items saw deflation in March. This has pulled down the overall inflation rate marginally to 2.47 per cent in March from 2.48 per cent in February.
Reflecting farmers’ woes, at least in some commodities such as tomatoes, wholesale price food items saw deflation in March. This has pulled down the overall inflation rate marginally to 2.47 per cent in March, from 2.48 per cent in February, even as oil inflation more or less neutralised the impact of food inflation.
Food deflation stood at 0.29 per cent in March, compared to inflation of 0.88 per cent in February. Within food, vegetables saw deflation at 2.70 per cent, against 5.26 per cent inflation. Among vegetables, tomatoes saw a price fall of 26.48 per cent in terms of the wholesale price index (WPI). The index stood at 92.7 points in March, which meant prices of tomatoes, on an average, were less than those in 2011-12.
Pulses have been witnessing deflation for months now. The rate of deflation, though, came down to 20.58 per cent in March, from 24.51 per cent in the previous month.
Sunil Kumar Sinha, director, India Ratings, said prices of many pulses are ruling below the minimum support price in some parts, including Madhya Pradesh. However, food inflation was offset by fuel prices, even as liquefied petroleum gas entered the deflationary zone. Fuel and power inflation rose to 4.70 per cent in March, against 3.81 per cent in the previous month. Sinha said with Brent crude oil prices going past $70 per barrel and the onset of summer likely to impact the prices of fruits and vegetables adversely, the inflation trajectory over the coming few months will be crucial for the Reserve Bank of India to decide its policy stance.