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Inflation dips to 7.94 pc; vegetable prices soar

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Aug. 27

THE annual wholesale price index-based inflation rate eased marginally to 7.94 per cent for the week ended August 14 despite a surge in prices of primary articles, including fruits, vegetables, rice and wheat, and also manufactured goods, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The year-on-year inflation had touched a 3-1/2 year high of 7.96 per cent during the previous week.

The fall in the inflation rate was largely on account of a higher statistical base during the corresponding week in 2003.

According to the data, the index of primary articles rose by 0.4 per cent to 192.5 points due to costlier food articles and non-food items. The food articles' group index surged by about one per cent to 188.6 points due to higher prices of vegetables (11 per cent), beef and buffalo meat (eight per cent), tea (three per cent) and jowar, masur, rice, urad and wheat (one per cent each).

Prices, however, declined in the case of fish-marine (six per cent), mutton and bajra (four per cent each), poultry chicken (two per cent) and fish-inland and maize (two per cent each).

The non-food articles' group was up by 0.1 per cent to 195.2 points on costlier raw jute (three per cent), cotton seed (two per cent) and rape and mustard seed, copra, castor seed and raw seed (one per cent each). Prices, however, declined for raw wool (two per cent) and skins and raw cotton (one per cent each).

The minerals' group index also fell by over seven per cent to 281.6 points due to fall in prices of iron ore (nine per cent), steatite and chromite (four per cent each) and fire clay (two per cent).

The textiles' group was up by 0.3 per cent to 138.2 points due to higher prices of cotton grey cloth and canvas (12 per cent), tyre cord (11 per cent), hessian and sacking bags (three per cent) and polyster staple fibre and hessian cloth (one per cent each). However, viscose filament yarn became cheaper by three per cent .

Rubber and plastic products rose by 0.5 per cent to 136.5 points owing to rise in prices of plastic items (10 per cent), PVC fitting and accessories (nine per cent) and injection-moulded plastic items (one per cent). The chemicals and chemical products' group increased by 0.1 per cent to 179.3 points due to higher prices of phenol (13 per cent), fireworks (six per cent), liquid chlorine (two per cent) and super phosphate P205 content, monocrotophos and titanium dioxide (one per cent each). Base metals, alloys and metal products' group index declined marginally to 206.5 points.

The index for machinery and machine tools group rose by 0.7 per cent to 136.6 points due to higher prices of boilers, its parts and accessories (13 per cent), textile machinery parts (nine per cent), ball bearings and ring spinning and doubling frames (two per cent each) and powerlooms automatic and carding machine (one per cent each).

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