Wholesale inflation to moderate further, to average 2.8% in 2018: Nomura
New Delhi: Wholesale price index (WPI) inflation is expected to moderate further in the coming months, and is likely to average 2.8% in 2018, says a Nomura report.
According to the Japanese financial services major, a moderation in WPI inflation in the coming months is likely owing to falling vegetable prices and favourable base effects. “Looking ahead, with food prices (vegetables) falling further in recent weeks and favourable base effects on fuel inflation until January 2018, we expect WPI inflation to moderate further in the coming months, before stabilising,” Nomura said in a research note.
Nomura expects WPI inflation to average 2.8% year-on-year in 2018 from 3.1% in 2017. According to the official data, wholesale inflation fell to 2.60% in September as prices of food articles, led by vegetables, softened.
Inflation, based on the WPI, had soared to a four-month high of 3.24% in August 2017. It was 1.36% in September 2016. Nomura said the recent WPI data suggests that input costs (food and fuel) have moderated, while output prices (core WPI) have moved marginally higher.
“However, we believe the rise in core WPI inflation largely reflects higher commodity prices (especially steel), and not necessarily demand-side pressures,” it said.
Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept benchmark interest rate unchanged on fears of rising inflation while lowering growth forecast to 6.7% for the current fiscal. It also raised its inflation forecast to a range of 4.2 to 4.6% during remainder of current fiscal as against 4 to 4.5% previously.