Saturday, March 22, 2008

Inflation soars to 5.92 per cent

Statesman News Service NEW DELHI, March 20:
With an across the board rise in prices, inflation surged to an over 11-month high of 5.92 per cent for the week ended 8 March as against 5.11 per cent the previous week.Though the inflation rate, as measured by the wholesale price index (WPI) was well below last year’s level of 6.51 per cent, it was still above the five per cent limit set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for this fiscal. Economists have expressed concern as the rising inflation is coupled with a slowdown in the manufacturing sector as well as the halving of growth in six core infrastructure sectors. With inflation under control over the past few months, it was hoped the RBI would soften its monetary stance and perhaps bring down interest rates. The current spurt has put paid to this. While some analysts have blamed costlier essential articles for the rising inflation over the past several weeks, the government has pegged it at capital goods and global prices of oil and commodities.The government had also announced a ban on export of all edible oils with effect from 17 March for one year to curb their rising prices. The index for Primary Articles rose by 0.3 per cent to 229.8 points from 229 points the previous week. Under this, the index for Food Articles group rose by 0.3 per cent to 225.4 points from 224.7 the previous week. The index for Non-Food Articles group rose by 0.5 per cent to 224.9 points from 223.7 points the previous week. The Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants group saw its index rise by 0.1 per cent from 337.5 points to 337.1 the previous week. This was mainly on account of costlier furnace oil. The heavyweight Manufactured Products group, with a weightage of 63.75 per cent, saw its index rise by a whopping 1.3 per cent to 193.2 points from 190.7 the previous week. Under this, the index for Food Products group rose by 0.6 per cent to 199.2 points from 198 the previous week. The index for Textiles group, however, declined marginally by 0.1 per cent to 128.2 points from 128.3 the previous week.

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