Inflation down to 8.23% in Jan as prices of sugar, wheat ease

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) Inflation declined marginally to8.23 per cent in January from 8.43 per cent in the previousmonth, as prices of certain commodities like wheat, pulsesand sugar eased, although essential items like onion and othervegetables continue to remain dearer.

The headline inflation, based on wholesale prices, hasremained above 8 per cent-mark since January 2010.

The fall in inflation has been mainly on account ofdeclining prices of sugar (down 14.99 per cent), pulses (12.78per cent), wheat (4.94 per cent) and potato (1.21 per cent).

However, vegetable and fruits continued to remainexpensive. On an annual basis, vegetable prices rose by 65 percent, and onion prices nearly doubled. Also, fruits becamecostly by 15.01 per cent and egg, meat and fish by 15.09 percent.

Overall, primary articles became costly by 17.28 per centwith food articles rising 15.65 per cent.

In the non-food articles category, fibre prices rose by48 per cent on an annual basis.

Prices of fuel and power shot up by 11.41 per cent, withpetrol rising 27.37 per cent on an year-on-year basis.

However, among manufactured items, sugar prices fell by15 per cent, while edible oils turned costlier by 7.16 percent.

The inflation number for November has also been revisedupwards to 8.08 per cent from 7.48 per cent, according togovernment data released today.

The easing of inflation is expected to come as a moralebooster for the government which have been under pressure dueto high prices of food items in recent months.

It also shows that Reserve Bank of India''s action ofraising rates seven times since March 2010 has started showingsome result.

It may be recalled, the food inflation, which accountsfor over 14 per cent in the overall Wholesale Price Index(WPI) inflation, has remained high since December scaling upto 18.32 per cent.

At its third quarterly review last month, the RBI revisedits inflation estimate to 7 per cent by March-end, from theearlier 5.5 per cent.

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