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Inflation unchanged despite higher fuel prices

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Oct. 29

THE annual wholesale price index-based inflation rate remained unchanged at 7.1 per cent for the week ended October 16, despite a rise in fuel prices.

The year-on-year inflation rate stayed constant during the latest reported week, after having declined for three straight weeks.

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the WPI rose by 0.1 per cent to 188.6 points mainly due to rise in fuel prices and those of some manufactured products, even as primary articles turned cheaper.

The index of Primary Articles' group fell to 190.5 points due to cheaper food and non-food items.

A four per cent hike in the price of furnace oil and two per cent in naphtha, vital ingredients for the industrial sector, pushed up the index of fuel, power, light and lubricants' group to 281.7 points.

The index of Manufactured Products' group fell marginally to 167.2 points on account of cheaper food products, beverages, tobacco and non-metallic mineral products.

Among the primary articles, the Food Articles' group index was down by 0.2 per cent to 189 points due to four per cent decline in the price of fish-marine, even as prices rose for bajra (two per cent) and jowar, masur and condiments and spices (one per cent each).

The index of Non-Food Articles' group fell sharply by 0.7 per cent to 187.6 points due to lower prices for raw cotton (four per cent), raw tobacco and raw silk (two per cent each) and sugarcane (one per cent).

Prices, however, increased in the case of raw jute (two per cent) and castor seed, groundnut seed, gingelly seed, raw skins, fodder, copra and safflower (one per cent each).

Among the manufactured products', the Food Products' group index declined by 0.1 per cent to 176.3 points due to lower prices for processed tea and oil cakes (five per cent each), gur (two per cent) and ghee, imported edible oil and hydrogenated vanaspati (one per cent each).

However, there was 13 per cent increase in the price of unblended black tea leaf and one per cent each in gingelly oil, solvent extracted groundnut oil and groundnut oil.

The index for Beverages Tobacco and Tobacco products' group was down by 0.1 per cent to 216.7 points due to two per cent fall in the price of rectified spirit.

The non-metallic mineral products' group index fell by 0.1 per cent to 156.3 points on account of marginal decline in the price of cement.

The index of Paper and Paper products' group rose by 0.5 per cent to 174.2 points owing to four per cent increase in the price of newspaper.

The Chemicals and Chemical products' group index was up by 0.1 per cent to 182 points due to costlier polystyrene and oxygen and caustic soda.

The index of machinery and machine tools' group surged by 0.5 per cent to 140.7 points due to higher prices of rubber insulated cables, other cables, PVC insulated cables and enamelled copper wires. Transport Equipment and Parts' group index rose by 0.3 per cent to 155.4 points due to six per cent increase in the price of bicycles.

The Government also revised inflation to 8.46 per cent for the week ended August 21, as against the provisional figure of 8.17 per cent, while final WPI was revised to 188.5 points, as against the provisional figure of 188 points.

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