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Cheaper fuel prices pull inflation down to 5.11 pc

Our Bureau

New Delhi , April 1

THE annual wholesale price index-based inflation fell to 5.11 per cent during the week ended March 19, from the previous week's level of 5.23 per cent.

The year-on-year inflation fell by 0.12 per cent during the week mainly on account of a drop in food and fuel prices, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Friday. The inflation rate was at 4.53 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year.

During the week, the WPI stood unchanged at the previous week's level of 189.1 points. The Government also revised upwards inflation to 5.43 per cent during the week ended January 22, as against the provisional estimate of 5.37 per cent.

The WPI stood corrected at 188.5 points during the week, as against the provisional figure of 188.4 points.

According to the data, the Primary Articles' group index fell by 0.1 per cent to 185 points due to cheaper food and non-food articles.

The index of Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants' group declined by 0.7 per cent to 287 points, mainly due to six per cent fall in the prices of LPG and two per cent fall in the case of bitumen.

sThe Manufactured Products' group index was up by 0.2 per cent to 168.6 points due to costlier beverages, tobacco, textiles, paper, chemicals, base metals, machinery, and transport parts.

Among the Primary Articles' group, the index of Food Articles' group was down by 0.1 per cent to 184.7 points due to lower prices of eggs (three per cent) and condiments and spices and urad (one per cent). Prices, however, rose in the case of vegetables (three per cent) and maize and bajra (one per cent each).

The Non-Food Articles' group index declined by 0.2 per cent to 179.5 points due to lower prices of safflower (13 per cent), raw silk (three per cent) and tobacco, fodder and groundnut seed (one per cent each).

But prices rose for raw jute and raw rubber (two per cent each) and castor seed and mesta (one per cent each).

Among the Manufactured Products' group, the Food Products' group index was down by 0.2 per cent to 175.4 points due to lower prices of coconut oil, sunflower oil and rape and mustard oil (two per cent each), and gur and groundnut oil (one per cent each).

But prices rose for rice bran oil (two per cent) and butter (one per cent).

A one per cent rise in the prices of cigarettes pushed up the Beverages Tobacco and Tobacco Products' group by 0.5 per cent to 220.9 points.

The Textile Products' group index was up by 0.1 per cent to 130.8 points due to higher prices of cotton yarn-hanks, polyester yarn and synthetic yarn (one per cent each).

However, prices went down in the case of texturised yarn (five per cent) and other cotton yarn and hessian cloth (one per cent each).

A one per cent hike in the prices of printing paper white and cream-laid woven paper led to 0.2 per cent increase in the index of Paper and Paper Products' group to 176.6 points. A three per cent spurt in the prices of enamels and acid pushed up the Chemicals and Chemical Products' group index by 0.1 per cent to 184.2 points, but varnishes became cheaper by two per cent.

The Base Metals Alloys & Metal Products' group index went up by 1.3 per cent to 211.6 points due to higher prices of aluminium bars and rods (13 per cent), other aluminium material (nine per cent), heavy rails (six per cent), aluminium sheets and strips (four per cent), aluminium ingots, basic pig iron, brass sheets and strips and foundry pig iron (three per cent each), steel sheets, plates and strips and zinc (two per cent each) and bars and rods, bolts and nuts, angles, channels and sections and other iron steel (one per cent).

The index of Machinery and Machine Tools' group was up by 0.1 per cent to 144.1 points due to higher prices of switchgears (two per cent) and TV sets (one per cent).

Transport Equipment and Parts group index rose by 0.1 per cent to 158.1 points due to one per cent increase in the prices of car chassis.

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