Inflation up on costlier minerals, textiles

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Our Bureau

New Delhi, Nov 25

THE annual wholesale price index-based inflation rose 4.2 per cent on during the week ended November 12, marginally higher than the previous week's annual rise of 4.14 per cent. The rise in the year-on-year inflation rate was largely on account of higher prices of minerals, edible oil and textiles, a data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said here. on Friday.

Inflation was at 7.68 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year. During the latest reported week, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) ended at 198.6 points, up from 190.6 points during the corresponding week a year ago.

On a disaggregated basis, the Primary Articles' group index was up 0.1 per cent at 199.9 points due to an increase in the prices of minerals and non-food items. The index was at 193 points a year ago.

A two per cent fall in bitumen prices pushed down the fuel, power, light and lubricants group index marginally to 312.4 points. The index was 291.7 points during the corresponding period last year. The manufactured products' group index stood firm at the previous week's level of 172.7 points even though prices rose for food products, textiles and machinery.

Among the primary articles' group, the food articles' group index fell by 0.1 per cent to 201.7 points due to one per cent dip in prices of condiments and spices, jowar, fruits and vegetables, ragi and rice.

However, prices rose for barley and mutton (four per cent), bajra (three per cent), masur and gram (two per cent each) and eggs, urad and wheat (one per cent each).

The non-food rticles' group index moved up 0.2 per cent as prices rose for raw silk (four per cent), raw wool (three per cent), raw rubber (two per cent) and raw cotton, raw jute and niger seed (one per cent each), even as soyabean and castor seed became cheaper by one per cent.

The Minerals group index rose by 2.2 per cent to 355.9 points due to higher prices of manganese ore (34 per cent), barytes (14 per cent) and iron ore (two per cent). But prices declined for vermiculite (21 per cent), magnesite (12 per cent) and fluorite (three per cent).

Among the manufactured products' group, the food products' group index rose 0.1 per cent to 178.6 points due to higher prices of oil cakes and rice bran oil (one per cent). But prices fell for cottonseed oil (five per cent) and sooji (one per cent).

The index for textiles group was up 0.2 per cent to 128.5 points due to increase in prices of polyster staple fibre (two per cent) and hessian and sacking bags and hessian cloth (one per cent each).

A marginal fall in prices of footwear western type pushed down the leather and leather products' group index by 0.4 per cent to 169.8 points.

The chemicals and chemical products' group index declined by 0.2 per cent to 190.1 points owing to lower prices of benzene (six per cent) and caustic soda (one per cent), but purified terephthalic acid became costlier by two per cent.

However, prices firmed up for zinc (five per cent), zinc ingots and steel wire ropes (three per cent each) and lead ingots (two per cent). The index for machinery and machine tools group was up by 0.2 per cent to 148.7 points due to higher prices of tractor components and accessories (three per cent), boilers, its parts and accessories (two per cent) and complete tractors (one per cent).

The Government revised upward the final inflation figures to 4.17 per cent for the week ended September 17, from the provisional 3.75 per cent. The WPI stood corrected at 197.3 points as against the earlier estimate of 196.5 points.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 26, 2005)
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