India’s inflation rate falls to 3.03 percent, a six-year low (Lead)

March 5th, 2009 - 3:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) India’s annual rate of inflation fell to 3.03 percent for the week ended Feb 21 from 3.36 percent the week before, official data showed Thursday. It was the fifth consecutive week during which the inflation rate fell, to a six-year low.
The drop in the inflation rate, based on the official wholesale price index, was on account of a 0.1 percent fall in the general index over the week.

While the index for primary articles fell 0.2 percent, that for manufactured products also fell marginally by 0.1 percent. The index for fuels, however, remained unchanged.

D.K. Joshi, principal economist at credit rating agency Crisil Ltd, said the inflation would fall further and could even reach zero. “The base effect is strong,” he said.

However, Dalip Kumar, the head of projects at the National Council of Applied Economics Research (NCAER), a Delhi-based think tank, said the inflation rate would now stabilise.

“The inflation would not go beyond this figure as the agriculture growth has come down by 2 percent and industrial growth by 0.02 percent,” said Kumar, adding that the present inflation rate was a six-year low.

The statistics released by the industry ministry also showed that the inflation rate, based on revised estimates, was 5.86 percent for the week ended Dec 27, against 5.91 percent reported earlier on the basis of provisional estimates.

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