Inflation rises on costlier fuel, food

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Our Bureau

New Delhi, April 15

THE annual wholesale price index-based inflation rose to 5.26 per cent during the week ended April 2 from the previous week's level of 5.05 per cent.

The increase in the year-on-year inflation during the latest reported week was driven by costlier food, fuel and manufactured products, according to data released here today by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The WPI increased by 0.4 per cent to 190.2 points during the first week of April, with all three major indices of primary articles, fuels and manufactured products flaring up.

The index stood at 180.7 points during the corresponding period last year, according to the data.

On a disaggregated basis, the Primary Articles Group index was up 0.4 per cent to 186.5 points, mainly on account of a spurt in prices of food articles.

The Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants Group index was up by 0.1 per cent to 289.9 points due to costlier aviation turbine fuel, naphtha and furnace oil.

The Manufactured Products Group index rose by 0.2 per cent to 169.2 points due to a rise in the prices of food products, tobacco, paper, rubber, chemicals, non-metallic minerals, base metals, machinery and transport parts.

In the Primary Articles Group items, the index for Food Articles Group rose 0.6 per cent to 187.3 points due to higher prices of poultry chicken (nine per cent), vegetables (five per cent), ragi (three per cent), fruits, fish-inland, bajra and jowar (two per cent each) and fish marine, maize, moong and urad (one per cent each).

Prices, however, fell for barley (six per cent), wheat and eggs (three per cent each) and gram, condiments and spices (one per cent each).

The Non-Food Articles Group index declined by 0.1 per cent to 178.4 points due to lower prices of copra (seven per cent), linseed (five per cent), castor seed (three per cent), tobacco, rapeseed and mustard seed (two per cent each) and mesta (one per cent).

Prices, however, moved up in case of raw silk (three per cent, raw jute (two per cent) and raw cotton and safflower (one per cent each).

In the Manufactured Products Group, the Food Products group index was up by 0.1 per cent to 174.3 points owing to higher prices of rice bran oil (four per cent) and butter, coconut oil, sugar, khandsari and sooji (one per cent each).

Prices, however, fell for bran (five per cent), sunflower oil and groundnut oil (two per cent each) and rape oil and mustard oil, oil cakes and gingelly oil (one per cent each).

A three per cent rise in the prices of pan masala pushed up the Beverages Tobacco and Tobacco Products Group index by 0.2 per cent to 221.1 points.

A one per cent jump in the prices of newsprint and map litho paper led to 0.2 per cent rise in the index of Paper and Paper Products group to 177 points.

A 62 per cent jump in the prices of plastic items pushed up the Rubber and Plastic Products Group index by 1.3 per cent to 134 points.

The Chemicals and Chemical Products Group index rose by 0.3 per cent to 185.6 points due to costlier soda ash (10 per cent), caustic soda (five per cent) and synthetic rubber (two per cent).

A four per cent increase in the prices of electrodes pushed up the Non-Metallic Mineral Products Group index by 0.2 per cent to 168.7 points, even as building bricks became cheaper by four per cent.

The Base Metals Alloys and Metal Products Group index went up marginally to 213.8 points owing to rise in the prices of bolts and nuts (four per cent), brass sheets and strips, aluminium ingots (one per cent each).

The Government also revised downwards the final inflation rate for the week ended February 5 to 4.96 per cent, compared to the provisional level of 5.01 per cent.

The WPI stood corrected at 188.5 points during the first week of February against the provisional estimate of 188.6 points.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 16, 2005)
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