Inflation declines to 4.07 per cent

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{image-inflation+india1_17022008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, Feb 17: The headline inflation rate for the week ended February 2 declined to 4.07 per cent, compared to its previous week's level of 4.11 per cent, due to fall in prices of food products and textiles.

The annual inflation rate was 6.58 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year, an official statement said. On Thursday the Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Rakesh Mohan said ''Our inflation is still high by world standards and it needs to be brought down further. The RBI's objective has been to ensure liquidity and still keep inflation and interest rates low.'' According to policy makers inflation may accelerate on account of an increase in prices of fuel and steel.

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

The clamour for an interest rate cut has become shriller as the first signs of the growth story slowing down becomes visible. It will be an interesting trade-off for the Reserve Bank with a stubborn inflation and posibility of slower growth of the economy.

The wholesale price index for 'All Commodities' for the week ended February 2, declined by 0.1 per cent to 217.4 (Provisional) from 217.6 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The index for 'Primary Articles' remained unchanged at its previous week level of 223.6 (Provisional).

However, the index for 'Food Articles' group declined by 0.2 per cent to 219.9 (Provisional from 220.4 (provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of fruits and vegetables (three per cent) and arhar, masur and condiments and spices (one per cent each) However, the prices of fish-marine (nine per cent), jowar (two per cent) and maize (one per cent) moved up.

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group rose by 0.6 per cent to 216.3 (Provisional) from 215.1 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of sunflower (five per cent, soyabean and niger seed (four per cent each), castor seed (two per cent) and ground nut and copra (one per cent each).

The index for 'Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants' group declined by 0.1 per cent to 334.0 (Provisional) from 334.4 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of furnace oil (three per cent) and aviation turbine fuel and naptha (two per cent each).

However, the prices of light diesel oil (five per cent) and bitumen (three per cent) moved up.

The index for 'Manufactured Products' group declined by 0.1 per cent to 189.2 (Provisional) from 189.4 (provisional) for the previous week. The index for 'Food Products' group declined by 0.9 per cent to 194.4 (Provisional) from 196.1 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of blended tea leaf gr (thirteen per cent), oil cakes (five per cent) and ghee and maida (one per cent each).

However, the prices of cattle feed (three per cent), khandsari and bread and buns (two per cent each) and rice bran oil, gur, bran (all kinds), gingelly oil and packed tea (one per cent each) moved up.

The index for 'Textiles' group declined by 0.5 per cent to 127.8 (Provisional) from 128.4 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of synthetic yarn (seven per cent) and texturised yarn and cotton yarn cones (one per cent each).

However, the prices of hessian cloth (two per cent) moved up.

The index for 'Rubber and Plastic Products' group rose by 0.1 per cent to 162.5 (Provisional) from 162.4 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of decorative laminates (two per cent).

The index for 'Chemicals and Chemical Products' group rose by 0.05 per cent to 207.0 (Provisional) from 206.9 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of safety matches (five per cent) and polystyene (one per cent).

The index for 'Non-Mettalic Mineral Products' group declined by 0.1 per cent to 210.3 (Provisional) from 210.5 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of bottles (two per cent).

The index for 'Basic Metals Alloys and Metal Products' group rose by 0.4 per cent to 248.7 (Provisional) from 247.6 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of ordinary casting and bolts and nuts (six per cent each), lead ingots and ms bars and rounds (five per cent each), foundary pig iron and basic pig iron (four per cent each), steel sheets, plates and strips (three per cent) and zinc ingots and other iron steel (two per cent each).

However, the prices of steel furnitures (eight per cent) and copper bars and rods (four per cent) declined.

The index for 'Machinery and Machine Tools' group rose by 0.2 per cent to 167.6 (Provisional) from 167.3 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of components and accessories of switch gears (seven per cent), other electrical equipment and systems (three per cent) and cranes (two per cent).

UNI

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