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Deflating food prices softens India’s WPI inflation

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Heritage Foods retail

New Delhi, April 16: Deflating food prices softened India’s wholesale price-indexed (WPI) inflation to 2.47 per cent in March from 2.48 per cent reported for the previous month, official data showed on Monday.

According to the Commerce Ministry data, the WPI inflation in March 2017 was more than double at 5.11 per cent.

“The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 2.47 per cent (provisional) for March 2018 (over March 2017) as compared to 2.48 per cent (provisional) for the previous month and 5.11 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year,” the ministry said in its report.

“Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 2.47 per cent compared to a build up rate of 5.11 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.”

On a sequential basis, expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI’s total weightage, inched up by 0.24 per cent, from an increase of 0.79 per cent in February.

The data disclosed that prices of food articles dipped by (-) 0.29 per cent from an acceleration of 0.88 per cent in the previous corresponding month.

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, onion prices soared higher by 42.22 per cent whereas potato prices rose by 43.25 per cent.

In contrast, the overall vegetable prices in March deflated (-)2.70 per cent, against a fall of (-)0.50 per cent in the same month a year ago.

Similarly, the protein-based food items such as eggs, meat and fish became cheaper by (-)0.82 per cent during the month.

Prices of the other major group under the WPI, manufactured products, which comprise nearly 64.23 per cent of the index, recorded a 3.03 per cent rise.

The sub-category of manufactured food products became dearer by 0.31 per cent.

In addition, the cost on fuel and power category, which commands a 13.15 per cent weightage in the index increased at a slower pace of 4.70 per cent from a growth of 22.35 per cent YoY.

Product-wise, the price of high-speed diesel rose by 6.12 per cent during March while that of petrol climbed by 2.55 per cent and for LPG by (-) 9.08 per cent.

On April 12, the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that lower food prices eased March retail inflation to 4.28 per cent from 4.44 per cent in February 2018.

However, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the consumer price index (CPI) last month stood higher than the 3.89 per cent reported in March 2017.

The CSO data revealed that the consumer food price index (CFPI) stood at 2.81 per cent in March compared to 3.26 per cent in February 2018.

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”.

“A significant decline in the inflation of food articles including cereals and pulses is an indicator that the government has rightly focused agriculture sector,” Anil Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber was quoted as saying in a statement.

“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.”

Sunil Kumar Sinha, Director, Public Finance and Principal Economist, India Ratings said: “Unlike the retail inflation which dipped by 16bp in March 2018 over the previous month, the wholesale inflation remained flat.”

“However, there are some noticeable changes at the disaggregate level. Inflation in the food article category which has been declining since November 2017 turned into deflation in March 2018 mainly driven by the sharp correction in the prices of fruits and vegetable.”

Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA said: “A downturn in food and mineral prices helped to offset the unfavourable base effect and keep the wholesale inflation steady at 2.5 per cent in March 2018.”

“After the surge seen in the previous month, the core-WPI inflation eased to a three month low 3.6 per cent in March 2018 from 3.9 per cent in February 2018, reflecting a favourable base effect as well as the trend in a number of sub-sectors with a substantial weight such as textiles, basic metals, fabricated metal products, and motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers etc.”

IANS

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61% Indian IT managers clueless how bandwidth is being consumed, claims Sophos

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New Delhi, April 25: Around  57 percent Indian IT managers can’t identify network traffic while 61 percent don’t know how their bandwidth is consumed, a new report revealed on Wednesday.

The report claimed also the majority of Indian IT managers have legal liabilities when it comes to unidentified traffic at their workplaces.

As per British IT security firm, Sophos’ global survey titled “The Dirty Secrets of Network Firewalls,” 89 percent of Indian software heads opined that halting malware threats have become harder over the last year.

“While 94 percent agree that stopping ransomware should be a top priority in organisations, a lack of effective application visibility is a serious security concern for 90 percent of Indian businesses,” news agency IANS reported citing the report.

The survey was conducted on more than 2,700 IT decision makers across medium-sized businesses in 10 countries worldwide, including India, the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, the UK, Australia, Japan and South Africa.

“Controlling network traffic is an essential role of every firewall yet, 61 per cent IT managers can’t tell you how their bandwidth is being consumed,” said Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales at Sophos India & Saarc.

“If you can’t see everything on your network, you can’t ever be confident that your organisation is protected from threats. IT professionals have been ‘flying blind’ for too long and cybercriminals take advantage of this,” Sharma pointed.

About 79 percent of IT heads witness security risks from unwanted or unnecessary applications.

“While 72 percent want to see applications by risk levels through their organisation’s firewall, 60 percent concerned on productivity loss due to unwanted apps and 52 percent had legal liability or compliance concerns due to potentially illegal content,” it added.

The survey further said that 61 percent would like to see better perimeter security in their organisation’s network firewall along with better threat visibility and better protection.

“Ineffective firewalls are costing you time and money. On an average, organisations are spending 7 working days to remediate infected machines,” assreted Sharma.

With just a single network breach multiple computers can be harmed, so keeping this in the mind faster you can stop the infection from spreading the more you limit the damage and time needed to clean it up.

“Companies are looking for the kind of next-generation, integrated network and endpoint protection that can stop advanced threats and prevent an isolated incident from turning into a widespread outbreak,” Sharma informed.

WeForNews 

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Markets open in red

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sensex

Mumbai, April 25: The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a negative note during the morning trade session.

The Sensex of the BSE after opening at 34,593.17 points touched a high of 34,611.73 and low of 34,536.70 points.

The Sensex is trading at 34,609.32 points, down by 7.32 points or 0.02 per cent from its Tuesday close at 34,616.64 points.

On the other hand, the broader 51-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,612.40 points after closing at 10,614.35 points.

The Nifty is trading at 10,606.25 points in the morning.

IANS

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Equity indices close higher, RIL top gainer

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SENSEX-

Mumbai, April 24: Healthy buying in oil and gas, banking and auto stocks, coupled with broadly positive global cues, lifted the key Indian equity indices on Tuesday.

Index heavyweights like Reliance Industries (RIL), Yes Bank, Adani Ports, Mahindra, Larsen and Toubro were the top gainers on the BSE.

However, heavy selling pressure in metals, IT and consumer durables stocks trimmed some gains of the benchmark indices, market observers said.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 34.05 points or 0.32 per cent to provisionally close (at 3.30 p.m.) at 10,618.75 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,491.38 points, closed at 34,616.64 points — up 165.87 points or 0.48 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex touched a high of 34,706.71 points and a low of 34,465.49 points during the intra-day trade.

In contrast, the BSE market breadth remained bearish with 1,479 declines and 1,191 advances.

On Monday, the equity indices closed a volatile trade session on a flat-to-positive note as healthy quarterly results drove investors’ sentiments.

The Nifty50 closed higher by 20.65 points or 0.20 per cent at 10,584.70 points, while the Sensex closed at 34,450.77 points — up 35.19 points or 0.10 per cent.

IANS

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