Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Mar 12, 2005
Industry & Economy - Economy
Costlier fuel products push up inflation
New Delhi , March 11
THE annual wholesale price index-based inflation rose to 4.95 per cent during the week ended February 26, from 4.83 per cent in the previous week. The rise in the year-on-year inflation was largely on account of a spurt in the prices of fuel products and manufactured items, including edible oils, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry here on Friday.
The WPI was down by 0.1 per cent to 188.7 points during the week under review. According to the data, the index of Primary Articles' group declined by 0.4 per cent to 185.1 points, largely due to cheaper food and non-food items. A massive 64 per cent increase in the prices of coke, a basic raw material for the manufacturing industry, pushed up the index of Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants' group to 289 points.
The Manufactured Products' group index rose by 0.1 per cent to 167.6 points due to costlier food products, textiles, paper, non-metallic minerals, base metals, machinery and transport equipment.
Among the Primary Articles' group, the Food Articles' group index fell by 0.4 per cent to 184.4 points due to lower prices of poultry chicken (six per cent), ragi and vegetables (three per cent), urad (two per cent) and eggs, milk and condiments and spices (one per cent each). Prices, however, rose by one per cent each in the case of bajra, maize, gram and jowar.
The index of Non-Food Articles' group was down by 0.4 per cent to 179.9 points owing to cheaper nigerseed (four per cent), copra and coir fibre (three per cent each), raw silk and raw cotton (two per cent each) and rape and mustard seed, groundnut seed and fodder (one per cent each). Prices moved up in the case of castorseed (four per cent), raw rubber (three per cent) and gingelly seed and raw jute (one per cent each).
Among the Manufactured Products' group, the Food Products' group index rose by 0.1 per cent to 174.8 points due to higher prices of rice bran oil (13 per cent), salt (eight per cent), imported edible oil (three per cent), and khandsari, oil cakes and gingelly oil (one per cent each). There was, however, a one per cent fall in the prices of sugar and coconut oil.
The index for Textiles' group was up by 0.1 per cent to 131.1 points owing to one per cent rise in the prices of hessian and sacking bags while cotton yarn became cheaper by one per cent. A two per cent hike in the prices of newspaper pushed up the Paper and Paper Products' group index by 0.2 per cent to 176.3 points. A whopping 31 per cent fall in the prices of plastic items pushed down the Rubber and Plastic Products' group index by 0.9 per cent to 132.3 points.
The Chemicals and Chemical Products' group index declined by 0.3 per cent to 184 points due to lower prices of polystyrene and ayurvedic medicine liquids (10 per cent each), hair oil and tablets except vitamin and penicillin (two per cent each). However, prices moved up for rubber chemicals (six per cent), syrup (four per cent) and acid (three per cent). A 12 per cent spurt in the prices of railway sleepers pushed up the index for Non-Metallic Mineral Products' group by 0.3 per cent to 159.7 points.
Base Metals Alloys and Metal Products' group index rose by 0.2 per cent to 208.1 points owing to higher prices of bolts and nuts (three per cent), bright bars (two per cent) and brash sheets strips, zinc and bars and rods (one per cent each).
The index for Machinery and Machinery Tools' group was up by 0.2 per cent to 143.5 points due to higher prices of cranes (14 per cent) and complete engines (one per cent).
A four per cent increase in the prices of broad gauge passenger carriage pushed up the Transport Equipment and Parts' group index by 0.2 per cent to 158 points.
The Government also revised downwards the inflation for the week ended January 1 to 5.72 per cent, compared to the provisional level of 5.78 per cent.
The WPI stood corrected at 188.5 points in the beginning of January this year as against provisional estimate of 188.6 points.
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