Wholesale Price Index inches up to 197.5 points

Our Bureau

The scorecard

Primary articles'

group index declines 0.2 per cent

Prices of

soyabean move up 6%

Silica sand

prices fell 33 per cent while iron ore's by 10%

Index for

textiles group increases 0.2 per cent

New Delhi, March 24

The annual wholesale price index-based inflation rose 4.28 per cent during the week ending March 11, higher than the previous week's annual rise of 4.02 per cent. The increase in the year-on-year inflation rate was mainly on account of a rise in energy and manufactured products, according to data released today by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The WPI ended the latest reported week at 197.5 points, up from 196.8 points, during the previous week. The inflation rate was 5.40 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year.

On a disaggregated basis, the primary articles' group index declined 0.2 per cent to 193.1 points due to fall in the index for minerals group.

Among the fuel, power, light and lubricants group index was up 0.9 per cent to 314.7 points, furnace oil rose five per cent, bitumen by three per cent, electricity by two per cent and naphtha by one per cent.

In case of the manufactured products' index, prices of paperboards rose around 25 per cent, epoxy resins and aluminium extrusion by 15 per cent each and air and gas compressors by 11 per cent.

Among the primary articles' group, food items showed an increasing trend, with prices of condiments and spices up by two per cent each and pork by one per cent. However, prices of barley declined by 5 per cent, while those of gram and wheat fell one per cent each.

In the Non-food Articles' group, prices of soyabean went up by six per cent, castor seed by two per cent and groundnut seed and cottonseed by one per cent each. But, the prices of copra moved down by five per cent and safflower by three per cent.

Among minerals, prices of silica sand fell 33 per cent and iron ore by 10 per cent. However, prices of barytes moved up 20 per cent, fire clay by 18 per cent, ochre and felspar by 17 per cent each, steatite by 13 per cent and magnesite by four per cent and fluorite by one per cent.

Among the manufactured products' index, the Food Products' group index went up 0.3 per cent to 181.4 due to higher prices of hydrogenated vanaspati (2 per cent). Gingelly oil and groundnut oil and imported edible oil, however, became cheaper by 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

The index for the textiles group increased 0.2 per cent to 130.4 from 130.1 for the previous week due to increased prices of other cotton yarn (3 per cent), hessian and sacking bags and cotton yarn cones (2 percent each) and nylon filament yarn (1 per cent). However, the prices of cotton grey drills and jeans (7 per cent), synthetic cloth (5 per cent), synthetic yarn and hessian cloth (1 per cent each) declined.

The index for the basic metals alloys and metal products group rose 0.5 per cent to 213.2 from 212.1 for the previous week due to higher prices of aluminium extrusion (15 per cent), aluminium ingots (8 per cent) and aluminium rolled products (5 per cent).

The Government also revised downwards the final inflation rate for the week ending January 14 to 4.19 per cent against the provisional estimates of 4.40 per cent. The WPI stood at a revised 196.6 points for the week, against the provisional estimate of 197 points.

Related Stories:
Inflation down on cheaper food prices
Inflation rises on surge in mineral prices
Inflation up on dearer manufactured products

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 25, 2006)
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