Inflation rate rises marginally to 1.51 per cent


The official Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for the week ended Oct 17 remained unchanged at its previous week’s level of 242.2 (provisional) as the index for primary articles and fuel, power, light and lubricants declined 1 per cent while manufactured products rose by 1 per cent. Among primary articles, prices of tea, maize, arhar, condiments, mutton and spices were up 1 per cent while fish and marine products was down 6 per cent, according to the data released by the industry ministry.

Over the 52-week period ended Oct 17, wholesale prices of onions rose by over 28 per cent, 22.84 per cent for potato, 20.39 per cent for vegetables, 15.65 per cent for rice and 16.34 per cent for pulses, while sugar rose 28.37 per cent. While the WPI is currently released on a weekly basis, the government had Oct 19 approved a proposal to release it every month instead.

The base year for the new monthly inflation data will be 2004 instead of 1993 as followed now for the weekly inflation data. The release of monthly WPI is expected to commence Nov 14. The government has said that the response to week-to-week inflation data was poor, particularly from the manufacturing sector, but hoped the monthly data would reflect the position better. However, the WPI for primary articles would continue to be released every week.

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