FINANCE MINISTRY RELEASES STATEMENT ON INFLATION

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The following is the statement of Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on inflation:

Annual rate of inflation, year on year as conventionally measured, further declined to 11.07 per cent for the week ending October 11, 2008 compared to a rate of 11.44 per cent reported in the previous week and 12.91 per cent on the week ending August 2, 2008. Wholesale Price Index during the week further declined by 0.33 per cent from 239.6 as on October 4, 2008 to 238.8 on October 11, 2008. Inflation in the same period in the previous year at 3.07 per cent, however, was significantly lower.

In the ‘primary articles’ group, the annual point-to-point inflation declined to 11.53 per cent, as compared to 12.68 per cent reported a few days earlier. Out of a total of 98 articles, 28 articles have shown a decline in prices in the current week as compared to October 4, 2008. These included among others, jowar, bajra, barley, urad, moong, castor, groundnut, sunflower and linseed, eggs, ginger, papaya, turmeric, pepper, tapioca, coriander, raw cotton, raw rubber and iron ore. Another 47 articles have shown no increase in prices.

In the commodity group ‘fuel and power’, the rate of inflation declined to 14.49 per cent in the current week compared to the rate of inflation of 14.64 per cent in the previous week. While the prices of furnace oil declined, prices of other 17 commodities remained unchanged in the current week. Lubricants was the only commodity which witnessed an increase in prices.

In the case of ‘manufactured products’, rate of inflation in the current week declined to 9.53 per cent, as compared to 9.69 per cent in previous week. Out of 318 commodities, a large number, 288 in all, have shown no increase in prices over the last week. In the case of 17 commodities, there has been a decline in prices. These commodities included rice bran, cottonseed, groundnut, mustard and imported edible oils; atta and sooji; lead and zinc ingots; groundnut and deoiled cake; acids; polyester staple fibre; cotton yarn; and PVC fittings and accessories. Only 13 products, particularly sugar and gur; gingelly oil; caustic soda; cycle tyres and tubes; hessian cloth and bags; decorative laminates; ghee; and bran witnessed an increase in prices.

Inflation of 30 essential commodities declined to 7.81 per cent as on the week ending October 11, 2008 from 7.88 per cent reported in the earlier week. There was a decline in the prices of 7 of these commodities and prices of other 16 commodities remained unchanged.

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