Inflation soars to 8.1% for week ended May 17, highest in 44 months

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New Delhi, May 30 (UNI) The headline inflation rate for the week ended May 17 soared to 8.1 per cent -- the highest since more than three and half years -- as compared to 7.82 per cent for the previous week, which Finance Minister P Chidambaram described as 'worrisome' and one that will keep the political pot boiling.

The annual inflation rate was 5.3 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year, data released by the government today showed.

On the news of inflation reaching 8.1 per cent, the bond market fell today.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for 'All Commodities' for the week ended May 17 rose by 0.26 per cent to 229.6 (Provisional) from 229.0 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The high inflation rate is a consequence of high energy and commodity prices and threatens growth prospects in the face of hardening of interest rates. This has given a stick to the Opposition to beat the government, even as Mr Chidambaram said a further hike in petrol prices will have an impact on prices in the short run.

The index for 'Primary Food Articles' rose by 0.5 per cent to 240.9 (Provisional) from 239.8 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The index for the 'Food Articles' group rose by 0.6 per cent 232.9 (Provisional) from 231.4 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of fish-marine(six per cent), fruits and vegetables(three per cent), moong (two per cent), and masur, condiments and spice and gram(one per cent each) .

However, the prices of tea (three per cent) and maize and wheat (one per cent each) declined.

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group rose by 0.2 per cent to 230.3 (Provisional) from 229.9 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of rape and mustard seed (four per cent), raw rubber (two per cent) and cotton seed, fodder and raw cotton (one per cent each).

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