Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
Associate PartnerAssociate Partner
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » Business
1-min read

Inflation Seen Inching Up in March, But Still Below RBI Target: Report

If the forecast is realized, March will be the eighth month in a row with below-target inflation, giving the RBI room to squeeze in another rate cut this year.


Updated:April 9, 2019, 10:03 AM IST
Inflation Seen Inching Up in March, But Still Below RBI Target: Report
Vendors wait for customers at their respective shops at a retail market in Kolkata. (Image: Reuters)

Bengaluru: India's retail inflation is expected to have accelerated in March on slightly higher food prices but remain under the Reserve Bank of India's medium-term target of 4 percent, a Reuters poll predicted.

If the forecast is realized, March will be the eighth month in a row with below-target inflation, giving the RBI room to squeeze in another rate cut this year.

According to the median consensus of over 40 economists polled by Reuters between April 4-8, consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 2.80 percent in March, up from 2.57 percent in February.

Forecasts ranged between 2.43 percent and 3.10 percent.

"Headline CPI inflation will have remained low in March, even if, as we suspect, it rose slightly as food inflation continues to pick up. In particular, the sharp fall in vegetable inflation over recent months appears to have bottomed out," said Shilan Shah, senior India economist at Capital Economics.

Food prices, which constitute nearly half of India's CPI basket, declined 0.66 percent on-year in February compared with a drop of 2.24 percent in January.

Oil - India's biggest import item - has risen over 30 percent this year and is currently trading at around $70 per barrel.

"Transport and utilities - which are clearly being driven by the rise in oil prices - are (also) driving headline inflation higher on a year-on-year basis," said Prakash Sakpal, Asia economist at ING.

At its April 4 monetary policy meeting, the RBI lowered borrowing costs for the second consecutive time to spur growth, bringing the repo rate to 6.0 percent.

The rapid policy easings come just weeks before voting begins in a national election, the results of which will be announced in May.

"The growth argument is not strong for easing policy just yet. Growth is slowing indeed, but it is not just India, it is slowing everywhere. (But) India still has very strong domestic demand," said ING's Sakpal.

According to a Reuters poll last week, economic growth is forecast to average 7.2 percent over the coming year.

But while inflation is predicted to rise to the RBI's target this year, just under half of economists polled by Reuters last week predicted another rate cut.

"The RBI will almost certainly follow up its cumulative 50bp of rate cuts this year with further loosening, perhaps as soon as June," said Shah at Capital Economics.

"But with core inflation still elevated, we think that further policy loosening will prove to be a policy mistake."

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

Most Active
Company Price Change %Gain
Infosys 643.55 -16.19
Yes Bank 51.80 0.78
Bajaj Finance 4,034.15 -2.50
Reliance 1,414.15 -0.16
Indiabulls Hsg 218.00 -5.71
Company Price Change %Gain
Infosys 643.30 -16.21
Yes Bank 51.80 0.78
Indiabulls Hsg 218.20 -5.75
HDFC 2,115.95 0.98
Reliance 1,414.25 -0.07
Top Gainers
Company Price Change %Gain
Dr Reddys Labs 2,810.75 3.15
ICICI Bank 451.15 3.05
BPCL 534.10 2.65
Titan Company 1,329.45 2.22
Cipla 453.90 2.20
Company Price Change %Gain
ICICI Bank 451.15 3.06
Coal India 208.80 1.38
Power Grid Corp 204.95 1.18
Bajaj Auto 3,123.30 1.15
Hero Motocorp 2,673.40 1.04
Top Losers
Company Price Change %Gain
Infosys 643.55 -16.19
Tata Motors 131.75 -3.73
Bajaj Finserv 8,008.85 -3.11
HCL Tech 1,064.45 -2.83
Bajaj Finance 4,034.15 -2.50
Company Price Change %Gain
Infosys 643.30 -16.21
Tata Motors 131.90 -3.51
HCL Tech 1,064.45 -2.87
Bajaj Finance 4,031.95 -2.56
Bharti Airtel 374.20 -2.36

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results