Wholesale inflation softens marginally to 2.47% as food items turn cheaper
17 April, 2018, 00:32
Within food, vegetables saw deflation at 2.70 per cent, against 5.26 per cent inflation. It revised downwards forecast for retail inflation to 4.7-5.1 per cent for April-September and 4.4 per cent for October-March.
Similarly, the index for "Non-Food Articles" group declined by 0.3 percent to 120.2 due to lower price of guar seed, floriculture, raw cotton, cottonseed, mustard seed, among others.
The yield on New Zealand's benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, rose 1 basis point to 2.85 percent, the yield on the long-term 20-year note steadied at 3.44 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year too closed 1 basis point higher at 1.96 percent.
Similarly, the protein-based food items such as eggs, meat and fish became cheaper by (-) 0.82 per cent during the month. In the same month past year, the WPI inflation was 5.11 per cent.
With this, the rate of inflation based on WPI Food Index consisting of "Food Articles" from Primary Articles group and "Food Product" from Manufactured Products group decreased from 0.07% in February, 2018 to (-) 0.07% in March, 2018.
In monthly terms, it was the first month that recorded deflation after eight months in a row of CPI growth and only the third time in the past 12 months that consumer prices shrank.
Wholesale prices of food articles fell 0.29 per cent in March compared with a 0.88 per cent rise in February.
Food prices were 0.3 per cent lower compared to February and services prices shrank by 0.4 per cent, while non-food prices were down by 0.2 per cent.
According to industry body PHD Chamber, the consistent decline in WPI indicated "that the government has undertaken effective measures at the ground to address the supply side problems of the economy during the last few years".
"Going ahead, we look forward to the continuation of favourable policy environment and further easing of monetary policy to strengthen the industrial growth and lower cost of borrowings for the businesses especially for the MSMEs". The movement in core inflation at the retail and wholesale level were in the opposite direction in March 2018.
However, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the consumer price index (CPI) last month stood higher than the 3.89 percent reported in March 2017.
Martin Beck, lead United Kingdom economist at Oxford Economics, said: "Although we think that 2018 as a whole will see a steady decline in price pressures, March may have proved an exception to that".
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