Inflation rate drops again, now at 5.24 percent (Lead)

January 15th, 2009 - 3:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) India’s annual rate of inflation fell further to 5.24 percent for the week ended Jan 3 from 5.91 percent the week before, official data released here Thursday said.The inflation rate was 4.26 percent during the corresponding week the previous year.

The wholesale price index (WPI) for all commodities declined 0.2 percent to 229 from 229.5 the previous week. Both figures are provisional.

The index for primary articles declined 0.5 percent to 246.3 from 247.5 the previous week, while that for manufactured products fell 0.1 percent to 200.6 from 200.8.

Similarly, the index for fuel, power, light and lubricants declined 0.2 percent to 329.8 from 330.5.

“Once fuel prices are reduced further, the inflation figures should touch less than four percent by February-end, and moderate to around two percent by March,” said Dalip Kumar, head of projects at National Council of Applied Economics Research (NCAER), a Delhi-based think tank.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora last week said another round of fuel price cut is on the cards.

But Kumar also cautioned that fuel prices would go up once a new government is elected at the centre, once again pushing up the rate of inflation.

India is expected to go to the polls in April or May.

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