Inflation Rate Drops To 13.34% In March -NBS


In a separate report, the statistical office revealed that residential property price inflation quickened to a 32-month high of 13.0 percent in February from 12.0 percent in January. The CPI numbers in March had eased to a five-month low. The rate of price rise in the protein rich items like eggs, milk and other products too moderated in March as against the previous month.

The current levels of inflation are far higher than the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) 4.0 per cent medium-term target. However, there are also some bleak signs, such as a contraction in mining in February and a rise in core inflation in March.

Fuel and light inflation stood at 5.73%, compared with 6.80% in February, while housing inflation stood at 8.31%, from 8.28% the previous month.

According to the latest figures released on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 13.34 per cent (year-on-year) in March 2018.

Also the 13.34 percent inflation rate is below the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) monetary policy committee (MPC) rate of 14 percent for the first time in two years which could prompt a rate cut by the apex bank, according to Razia Khan, Head of Macroeconomic Research at Standard Chartered Bank Plc.

During April-February, IIP growth slowed to 4.3% from 4.7% in the year-earlier period.

The RBI last week held its benchmark interest rate and lowered its inflation projections for the fiscal year that began on April 1, while listing the plan to provide minimum support prices for monsoon-sown crops as a risk to inflation.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) recorded a growth of 8.54% in November, 7.1% in December and 7.4% in January, as per the revised data.

"Expected risks may arise from fiscal slippage, higher input costs and MSP hikes while financial sector volatility with respect to the normalization policy in the United States may cause further tension", Anis Chakravarty, lead economist, Deloitte India.

In February, the annual inflation rate went up to 4.72%, from 4.32% the month before.

Devendra Kumar Pant, Chief Economist, India Ratings and Research said: "The February 2018 IIP growth at 7.1 per cent gives confidence that the industrial recovery is broadening".