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Inflation dips to 7.8 pc as food item prices fall

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Oct. 1

THE annual wholesale price index-based inflation rate dipped marginally to 7.80 per cent for the week ended September 18, mainly due to a drop in prices of food items including vegetables and fruits, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry today.

The year-on-year rate had gone up to 7.87 per cent during the previous week. During the latest reported week, the point-to-point WPI-based inflation fell from the previous week's level.

The index of mass consumption, the Primary Articles' group, was down substantially by 0.6 per cent due to cheaper food and non-food articles. The Manufactured Products' group was, however, up by 0.4 per cent due to costlier food products, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment while the Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants' group index stood firm at 281.6 points.

Among Primary Articles, the Food Articles' group index fell by 0.7 per cent to 188.9 points due to lower prices of poultry chicken (six per cent), fruits and vegetables (three per cent), coffee, fish-marine and jowar (two per cent each) and urad, wheat, tea and ragi (one per cent each).

But prices rose for barley (three per cent), fish-inland (two per cent) and bajra and eggs (one per cent each). The index for Non-Food Articles' group was down by 0.5 per cent to 195.8 points due to cheaper raw rubber (five per cent), hides (three per cent), soyabean and raw cotton (two per cent each). Prices, however, rose for castor seed (two per cent) and niger seed, raw jute and groundnut seed (one per cent each).

In the Manufactured Products' group, the Food Products' group index soared by 1.5 per cent to 179.8 points due to higher prices of unblended black tea leaf (18 per cent), oil cakes (four per cent), skimmed milk powder (three per cent), butter, solvent extracted groundnut oil, gingelly oil and salt (two per cent each) and canned fish and ghee (one per cent each).

Imported edible oil and rice bran oil, however, turned cheaper by four per cent and gur by one per cent.

The index for Textiles group declined by 0.4 per cent to 138.2 points due to cheaper cotton knitted garments (six per cent) and synthetic yarn (five per cent), despite hessian cloth becoming costlier by one per cent.

The Chemicals and Chemical Products' group index was up by 0.1 per cent to 181.6 points owing to higher prices of phenol (14 per cent) and purified terephthalic acid (10 per cent) while varnishes became cheaper by one per cent.

The index for Base Metals Alloys and Metal Products' group fell by 0.1 per cent to 205 points due to lower prices of zinc ingots (five per cent), other iron steel (four per cent), rounds (two per cent) and zinc (one per cent), but lead ingot prices moved up by three per cent.

The Government also revised inflation upwards to 7.91 per cent for the week ended July 24 as compared to the provisional level of 7.51 per cent. The WPI stood corrected at 186.9 points during the last week of July as against provisional level of 186.2 points.

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