Inflation eases to -1.54 percent

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New Delhi, July 30 (ANI): After a marginal hike in two consecutive weeks inflation fell to (-) 1.54 per cent for the week ended July 18 even as essential food items like cereals, pulses, fruit and vegetables continued to remain expensive.

Inflation stood at (-)1.17 per cent in the previous week. However, the wholesale price index was as high as 12.54 per cent in the corresponding week last year.

The government has maintained that the reason for inflation remaining in the negative zone was partly due to statistical reasons.

The ease comes mainly on the back of decrease in prices of iron ore, lower aviation fuel and cement.

Prices of food items like mutton rose by 14 per cent, arhar by 9 per cent, gram by 4 per cent, fruit and vegetables by 2 per cent during the week.

However, a major decline was registered in mineral index, as prices fell by 16.8 per cent mainly due to softening iron ore prices by 24 per cent and felspar by 3 per cent.

At the same time, prices of jet fuel also declined by 7 per cent during the week

All the opposition parties have taken up the issue of price rise against negative inflation, who believe that the basic diet of vegetables and pulses has become way too expensive for the common man.

The Reserve Bank of India, in its first quarterly review of 2009, also kept unchanged the rates saying there was enough liquidity in the market.

Sources said the rising concern over inflation has triggered the countdown of the RBI's accommodating monetary policy stance and the key policy rates may soon be hiked. (ANI)

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