India: Consumer price inflation accelerates in March, nearly hits mid-point of RBI's target range
April 15, 2019
In March, consumer prices rose 0.36% compared to the previous month, up from 0.22% in February. More expensive food and beverages, and fuel and light boosted prices in March.
Consumer price inflation accelerated to 2.9% in March from 2.6% in February, which was slightly above market analysts’ expectations of 2.8%. Inflation closed in to the center of the Reserve Bank of India’s target range of 2.0% to 6.0% in March, primarily due to large price increases for pan, tobacco and intoxicants, and housing. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy products, slowed to 5.0% in March from 5.3% in February.
Wholesale prices increased 0.4% month-on-month in March, up from 0.3% in February. Higher prices in March came on the back of more expensive fuel and light. Whole price inflation accelerated to 3.2% in March from 2.9% in February, while annual average wholesale price inflation held steady at 4.3%.
India Inflation Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect consumer price inflation to average 4.0% in FY 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In FY 2020, the panel expects consumer price inflation to average 4.5%. Meanwhile, our panel projects wholesale inflation of 3.6% for FY 2019, down 0.3 percentage points from last month’s report. In FY 2020, our panel foresees wholesale inflation averaging 3.5%.
Author: Edward Gardner, Economist