Wholesale Price Index down 0.1 per cent to 197

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Prices were

up for nickel alloy (33 pc), fireworks (10 pc) & electric motors (3-9 pc)

Rates declined

for ACSR conductors (10 pc), fish & zinc ingots (4 pc)

New Delhi, March 10

The annual wholesale price index-based inflation rose 4.29 per cent during the week ended February 25, lower than the previous week's annual rise of 4.34 per cent.

The dip in the year-on-year inflation rate was mainly due to a decline in essential food articles and non-food items, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry today.

During the latest reported week, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was down 0.1 per cent to 197 points.

The index was at 188.9 points a year ago. The inflation rate was at 5.06 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year.

On a disaggregated basis, the Primary Articles' group index fell 0.4 per cent to 194.5 points as food items became cheaper by 0.5 per cent and non-food essential items by 0.2 per cent. The Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants group index remained stable at previous week's level of 311.9 points.

The Manufactured Products group index rose 0.1 per cent to 172.2 points due to costlier textile, paper, chemicals, non-metallic mineral, base metals, alloys and machinery.

Among the Primary Articles' group, the Food Articles' group index dipped to 195.6 points as prices fell for eggs, fish marine (4 per cent each), fruits and vegetables (2 per cent), barley, bajra, maize, jowar, gram and masur (1 per cent each). The Non-food articles index fell to 176.4 points due to cheaper copra and sunflower (2 per cent each), safflower and raw tobacco (1 per cent each). But prices of nigerseed moved up by 2 per cent and cottonseed by 1 per cent.

Among the Manufactured Products' group, the index for food products declined 0.5 per cent to 181 points as prices fell for sugar, coconut oil, imported edible oil, oil cakes and rice bran oil (1 per cent each).

The Textiles group index moved up by 0.5 per cent to 130.5 points as prices rose for cotton yarn hanks (2 per cent), other cotton yarn and cotton yarn cones (1 per cent each). Newsprint prices rose 2 per cent pushing up the Paper, Paper Products group index by 0.2 per cent to 178.3 points.

The Chemicals and Chemical Products group index was up 0.1 per cent to 189.2 points as firework prices surged by 10 per cent and synthetic resins by 7 per cent. Cement prices increased by 1 per cent to push up the Non-metallic Mineral Products group index to 177.5 points. The Base Metals Alloys and Metal Products group index rose 0.2 per cent to 211.8 points.

The Machinery and Machine Tools group index rose 0.2 per cent to 147.1 points due to rise in electric motors phase-one (9 per cent), electric motors (6 per cent) and electric motor phase-three (3 per cent).

The Government also revised upward the final inflation figure for the week ended December 31 to 4.56 per cent from the provisional 4.4 per cent and WPI stood corrected at 197.1 points from the earlier estimate of 196.8 points.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 11, 2006)
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