Inflation climbs to 8.24 per cent

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Mumbai, June 6: Inflation once again climbs high at 8.24 per cent on Friday for the week ending May 24. It was 8.1 per cent for the week ending May 17. A first look at the analysis of the figures shows food articles, particularly imported edible oil - have pushed up the numbers.

While, the non-food items prices have risen by 0.5 per cent and the commodities are up 0.1 per cent.The inflation was 7.82 percent for the week ended May 10 as compared to 7.83 per cent for the previous week, said the official figures released today. During the corresponding week a year ago, the inflation stood at 5.62 percent.

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Petrol prices were hiked by Rs 5 per litre, diesel by Rs 3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs 50 a cylinder. The huge price hike was, however, offset by states reducing sales tax and custom duties.

Experts anticipate a steep increase in inflation.

HDFC Bank Chief Economist Abheek Barua said, "Inflation could cross nine per cent in the near term owing to the hike in petrol and diesel prices." To absorb the excess cash from the banking system to contain inflationary pressures, the Reserve bank of India (RBI) has raised the proportion of deposits that banks must set aside to a seven-year high of 8.25 per cent.

Ahead of the polls this year and next, the Central Government has cut import duties on edible oil, curbed rice exports and forced steel and cement companies to cut prices.

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