Higher oil and coal prices fuel inflation to 3.79%

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New Delhi, Jan 20 (UNI) The headline inflation rate for the week ended January 5 is at 3.79 per cent compared to its previous week's level of 3.50 per cent, on account of higher prices of coking coal and bitumen.

The annual inflation rate was 6.37 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year, an official statement said here.

It is the 31st successive week that inflation has remained below central banks comfort zone of five per cent.

However, a key government meeting to decide a hike in the retail prices of oil is expected to fuel inflationary pressures with the number expected to move towards four per cent in the near-term.

C Rangarajan, the head of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Economic Advisory Council (EAC) raised yesterday fears that the headline WPI inflation rate will be above four per cent if petrol prices are revised.

The wholesale price index for 'All Commodities' for the week ended January 5, rose by 0.3 per cent to 216.6 (Provisional) from 216.0 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The index for 'Primary Articles' rose by 0.1 per cent to 222.2 (Provisional) from 222.1 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The index for 'Food Articles' group declined by 0.1 per cent to 220.3 (Provisional) from 220.6 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of bajra(two per cent) and jowar, urad and fruits and vegetables(one per cent each).

However, the prices of maize (two per cent) and arhar (one per cent) moved up.

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group rose by 0.5 per cent to 210.8 (Provisional) from 209.8 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of tobacco (three per cent), fodder, sunflower and raw cotton (two per cent each) and rape and mustard seed and copra (one per cent each) The index for 'Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants' group rose by 1.2 per cent to 334.1 (Provisional) from 330.2 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of coking coal (10 per cent), non-coking coal( nine per cent), bitumen (seven per cent), furnance oil(four per cent) and light diesel oil and naptha (two per cent each).

However, the prices of aviation turbine fuel (four per cent) declined.

The index for 'Manufactured Products' group rose by 0.1 per cent to 188.5 (Provisional) from 188.4 (provisional) for the previous week.

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