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Inflation rate moves back into positive territory at 0.12 %

The headline annual rate of inflation moved back into positive territory at 0.12 per cent for the week ended September 5 after staying negative for 14 straight weeks.

The inflation rate was -0.12 per cent in the previous week. It was 12.42 per cent during the corresponding week, ended September 6, 2008, of the previous year.

The inflation rate had turned negative for the first time in more than three decades when it touched -1.61 per cent for the week ended June 6 this year.

The official Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for All Commodities (Base 1993-94=100) for the week ended September 5 rose by 0.4 per cent to 242.0 (Provisional) from 241.1 (Provisional) for the previous week.

An official statement, quoting provisional data, said the build-up of inflation in the financial year 2009-10 so far was 5.86 per cent as compared to a build-up of 6.62 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The 52-week average inflation for the week ended September 5 was 3.43 per cent, the statement said.

According to the statement, the index for Primary Articles, a major category with a weight of 22.02 per cent in the WPI, rose by 1.3 per cent to 274.7 from 271.2 for the previous week.

Within this category, the index for Food Articles rose by 2.2 per cent to 279.9 from 273.8 for the previous week due to higher prices of poultry chicken (16%), fruits & vegetables (8%), pork (5%), condiments & spices (3%), bajra (2%) and rice and moong (1% each). However, the prices of jowar (2%) and maize and tea (1% each) declined.

The index for Non-Food Articles declined by 1.1 per cent to 238.7 from 241.4 for the previous week due to lower prices of logs & timber (19%) and soyabean (5%). However, the prices of raw silk, cotton seed and raw rubber (3% each), copra (2%) and sunflower, castor seed and groundnut seed (1% each) moved up.

The index for Fuel, Power, Light & Lubricants, a category that has a weight of 14.23 per cent in the WPI, rose marginally to 343.4 from 343.3 for the previous week due to higher prices of bitumen (9%), furnace oil and light diesel oil (4% each) and aviation turbine fuel (2%). However, the prices of naphtha (7%) declined.

In the case of Manufactured Products, a major category with a weight of 63.75 per cent in the WPI, the index rose by 0.1 per cent to 208.1 from 207.9 for the previous week.

Within this category, the index for Food Products rose by 0.4 per cent to 241.9 from 240.9 for the previous week due to higher prices of sugar and sooji (rawa) (4% each), khandsari and bran (all kinds) (2% each) and maida, atta and gingelly oil (1% each). However, the prices of oil cakes (4%), coconut oil (3%), rice bran oil and imported edible oil (2% each) and butter (1%) declined.

The index for Textiles rose by 0.3 per cent to 143.7 from 143.2 for the previous week due to higher prices of polyester staple fibre (5%) and hessian cloth and hessian & sacking bags (2% each).

The index for Rubber & Plastic Products declined by 0.1 per cent to 169.4 from 169.6 for the previous week due to lower prices of plastic containers (6%).

The index for Chemicals & Chemical Products declined marginally to 229.3 from 229.4 for the previous week due to lower prices of enamels (4%) and caustic soda and thinners (2% each). However, the prices of acid (all kinds) (1%) moved up.

The index for Basic Metals Alloys & Metal Products declined by 0.1 per cent to 255.2 from 255.4 for the previous week due to lower prices of basic pig iron and foundry pig iron (2% each) and steel ingots (1%). However, the prices of lead ingots (4%) and other iron steel and zinc ingots (1% each) moved up.

The index for Machinery & Machine Tools rose by 0.1 per cent to 172.4 from 172.2 for the previous week due to higher prices of material handling equipment (6%) and electrical relays (3%).

The statement said that the final WPI for the week ended July 11 stood at 238.0 as compared to 236.7 that was provisionally reported on July 23.

Accordingly, the annual rate of inflation based on the final index for the week ended July 11 stood at -0.63 per cent as compared to -1.17 per cent provisionally reported on July 23, the statement added.

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