Inflation increases to 3.93%

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (UNI) The headline inflation rate for the week ended January 19 rose to 3.93 per cent compared to its previous week's level of 3.83 per cent, due to higher wholesale commodity prices.

The annual inflation rate was 6.31 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year, an official statement said here today.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had on Thursday exuded confidence that the country would grow close to nine per cent this fiscal on the back of an investment boom. ''We are maintaining a balance between growth and inflation,'' he said, adding that inflation is still below four inflation and growth is well above eight per cent.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Y V Reddy had on Monday reiterated the warning about the dangers of inflation to the economy.

''Prices of non-administered petroleum products (naphtha, furnace oil, aviation fuel and the like) have increased in the range of 28-37 per cent. Accordingly, fuel prices, even if unchanged, are set to drive up headline inflation going forward, in contrast to their dampening role hitherto,'' Mr Reddy had said.

Overall, inflationary pressures have firmed up with implications for the outlook for 2008, he had added.

The wholesale price index for 'All Commodities' for the week ended January 19, rose by 0.2 per cent to 217.1 (Provisional) from 216.7 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The index for 'Primary Articles' rose by 0.3 per cent to 222.8 (Provisional) from 222.1 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The index for 'Food Articles' group remain unchanged at its previous week's level of 219.9. The prices of maize (two per cent), wheat and arhar (one per cent each) went up.

However, the prices of fish-marine (three per cent), urad (two per cent) and condiments and spices (one per cent each) declined.

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group rose by 1.1 per cent to 214.1 (Provisional) from 211.7 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of niger seed and soyabean (six per cent each), sunflower (five per cent), groundnut seed (two per cent) and rape and mustard seed, cotton seed, castor seed and copra (one per cent each).

The index for 'Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants' group rose by 0.1 per cent to 334.4 (Provisional) from 334.1 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of furnace oil (two per cent) and light diesel oil (one per cent).

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