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  1. CPI inflation eases in March to 5.49 per cent

CPI inflation eases in March to 5.49 per cent

Retail inflation based on consumer price index for rural labourers eased to 5.49 per cent in March from 6.19 per cent.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 19, 2015 8:02 PM
Retail inflation

The retail inflation eased due to fall in prices of some food items.

Retail inflation based on consumer price index for rural labourers eased to 5.49 per cent in March from 6.19 per cent in previous month.

The rate of price rise based on consumer price index for agricultural labourers too softened to 5.24 per cent in March from 6.08 per cent in February, the Labour Ministry said in a statement today.

The retail inflation eased due to fall in prices of some food items.

The All-India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Agricultural Labourers remained stationary at 803 points and for Rural Labourers, with the increase of 1 point, stood at 807 points during March, the statement said.

The rise or fall in index varied from state to state. In case of farm workers, CPI-AL recorded an increase between 1 to 9 points in 13 states and a decrease between 1 to 6 points in 7 states.

Haryana with 902 points topped the CPI-AL table whereas Himachal Pradesh with the index level of 664 points stood at the bottom.

In case of rural workers, the index recorded an increase between 1 to 10 points in 13 states and a decrease between 1 to 6 points in 7 states. Haryana with 898 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh with the index level of 695 points stood at the bottom.

The CPI-AL in respect of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal registered the maximum decrease of 6 points each and for rural labourers, West Bengal registered the maximum decrease of 6 points due to fall in the prices of rice, wheat atta, onion and vegetables & fruits.

The Index Numbers for farm workers for Tripura registered the maximum increase of 9 points and for Rural Labourers, Jammu & Kashmir State registered the maximum increase of 10 points mainly due to increase in the prices of maize, bread, pulses, meat goat, vegetables & fruits and knitted garment wool.

Inflation based on food index of CPI-AL and CPI-RL is 4.05 per cent and 4.31 per cent respectively during March.

CAD likely to be 1.5 pc in 2015-16: HSBC

The current account deficit is likely to remain at “manageable levels” of around 1.5 per cent of GDP in the current fiscal despite a marginal rise in oil prices and sluggish manufacturing exports, said an HSBC report.

“While risks on the current account deficit are building (rising oil prices, domestic demand recovery and sluggish manufactured exports), we expect the CAD to remain at manageable levels,” HSBC Chief India Economist Pranjul Bhandari said in a research note.

Though the above factors pose a potential risk to the CAD going forward, Bhandari said: “We think the external accounts will remain at manageable levels (CAD will remain at the 1.5 per cent of GDP) as long as oil remains under USD 80 and lower inflation keeps gold imports at reasonable levels”.

As per the official data, India’s exports contracted by about 14 per cent in April to USD 22 billion due to a sharp dip in petroleum, gems and jewelery shipments, registering decline for the fifth straight month.

The slump in exports is mainly due to global slowdown and softening of crude, metal and commodity prices.

Imports too declined by 7.48 per cent to USD 33 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 11 billion in April.

Even as gold imports shot up in March and April, HSBC said it is expected to “moderate further over the next few months”.

The CAD, which is the difference between the inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, was 1.7 per cent of GDP (USD 32.4 billion) in 2013-14.

The CAD in the first half of fiscal year 2014-2015 was 1.9 per cent of GDP (USD 18 billion).

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