March CPI inflation eases to 4.28%, February IIP slows to 7.1%

BOOM: Inflation rate slides to 13.3%, lowest in 2 years

For the urban areas, the consumer price inflation stood at 4.12 per cent in March 2018 against 4.52 per cent in February and 2.42 per cent in March 2017.

The report disclosed that the March 13.34 per cent is 0.99 percentage points less than the 14.33 per cent recorded in the preceding month of February.

As per Central Statistics Office (CSO), inflation in the vegetables segment cooled to 11.7 per cent in March from 17.57 per cent in the previous month.

Inflationary pressures could come from higher spending in the second half of the year, before general elections scheduled for February, according to Nigeria's statistician-general, Yemi Kale, said earlier this year.

Low inflation number will have a positive impact on the bond market, as interest rates have an inverse relationship with bond prices.

After growing at more than 7 per cent for the third straight month up to January, data released on Thursday showed that India's factory output slowed down to 7.1 per cent in February.

In contrast, the category of "pulses and products" became cheaper by (-) 13.41 per cent and that of "sugar and confectionery" by (-) 1.61 per cent. "With IIP growth exceeding 7 per cent for January-February 2018, the outlook for the GVA growth for Q4 FY18 has become brighter", said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA. Last week, RBI lowered its April-September retail inflation projection to 4.7 percent to 5.1 percent, from a previous range of 5.1 percent to 5.6 percent released in February. As per the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India's industrial output was 1.2 per cent in the same month past year.

Manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 77% of the index, grew at 8.7%.

Others concur. "While the growth of capital goods output has surged in recent months, the year-to-date growth remains moderate at 5.3 per cent".

At present, ICRA expects the CPI inflation to chart an uptrend in the ongoing quarter to around 5.3 per cent in June, before recording a base-effect led easing in the subsequent months.

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".

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