New Delhi, May 9 : Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said that inflation is more or less stable and described the marginal increase in the annual wholesale price inflation rate in late April as a major relief in New Delhi.
Government data showed today that the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for 12 months, week ending April 26 rose to its highest level since Nov. 13, 2004. But the figure had only edged up from the previous week's rise of 7.57 per cent.
"7.57 to 7.61 is not a statistically significant. Both are really 7.6. In fact, it has come as a big relief that it is more or less stable at 7.6. This is for the week ending April 26, 2008. In fact even two weeks ago, I said inflation will remain at this level for some time before it begins it downward turn. Although it is too early to predict how the future will be, 7.57-7.61 in our assessment means that it is stable," Chidambaram told reporters.
The Finance Minister said that annual WPI inflation rate would remain stable at the current level for some more weeks before it starts its downward trend.
He also added that the rate of inflation has not moderated anywhere in the world due to the rise in the food and oil prices.
"Let me tell you, no country has inflation yet moderated because of the continuous rise in oil prices, it has touched 124 dollars (a barrel), continuous rise in the international market for food prices and not yet moderating commodity prices in the international market. In the Indian market as the Commerce Minister pointed out on Thursday, we had begun to see moderation in some prices," said Chidambaram.
Chidambaram said the Government would take more administrative steps if necessary to tame prices further.
Holding that the government has already taken several measures, Chidambaram said: "One must have faith that these steps will yield results."
The rate matched a median forecast of 7.61 per cent in a Reuters poll of analysts. It was the highest since an annual reading of 7.68 per cent on November 13, 2004.
The annual inflation rate was 6.01 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year.
The WPI is more closely watched than the consumer price index, which is published monthly, because it covers a higher number of products and is published weekly.