Inflation rate rises, but economists not alarmed


New Delhi : India’s annual rate of inflation rose marginally by 0.04 percent to 5.64 percent for the week ended Jan 17 from 5.6 percent the week before, official data released here Thursday showed. Economists, however, said this was “temporary”.

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The inflation rate was 4.45 percent during the corresponding week the previous year.

The wholesale price index (WPI) for all commodities rose 0.2 percent to 230.5 from 230 (provisional) the week before.

The index for primary articles declined 0.1 percent to 249.1 (provisional) from 249.3 the previous week, while that for manufactured products rose 0.3 percent (provisional) to 201.8 from 201.1.

The index for fuel, power, light and lubricants rose 0.1 percent to 330 (provisional) from 329.8 last week due to higher prices of aviation fuel (4 percent) and furnace oil (1 percent).

However, the rise in the inflation rate for the second successive week after 11 weeks of continued decline does not alarm experts.

Calling it a temporary rise, D.K. Joshi, chief principal economist at Credit Rating Information Services of India Ltd (Crisil), said the inflation rate would go down in the next couple of months.

“A part of the reason for the minimal rise is the truckers’ strike which pushed up the prices of food commodities and perishables. Wednesday’s fuel prices cut will reflect in the inflation figures in the coming week,” Joshi said.

According to him, inflation rate would go down to 3-4 percent by the end of March.

Shri Ram Khanna, professor at the Delhi School of Economics, said since there were no inflationary pressures on the economy and the recessionary trends push the prices down, inflation will head only southwards.