Inflation surges to 8.1 per cent

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New Delhi, May 30: Inflation rose to a 45-month high of 8.1 per cent for the week ending May 17 on account of rising prices of fruits and vegetables, pulses, spices and some industrial fuels. The Wholesale Price Index-based inflation was 7.82 per cent a week ago and 5.3 per cent during the corresponding week last year.

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the inflation at 8.1 per cent is worrisome. "We will do our best to contain, moderate and reverse headline inflation", he said. He also said that there is still scope for cement manufacturers to cut prices. He added that any rise in administered prices of petrol will be inflationary in the short term. The GDP growth at 9 per cent for 2007-08 is quite satisfactory in a year that saw turbulence in money market, said Chidambaram.

Finance Minister also stated that corrective steps will be taken to address the slowdown in manufacturing sector. The government is confident of achieving about 8.5 per cent economic growth rate in 2008-09, said the Finance Minister.

UNI

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