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Rate of inflation shoots past 5 per cent

New Delhi, Feb. 23 (PTI): The rate of inflation breached the 5-per-cent mark for the week ended February 8, belying Reserve Bank’s expectations of around 4 per cent for 2002-03. It was only 1.2 per cent a year ago.

The point-to-point price change, as measured by the wholesale price index (WPI), rose by another 0.18 per cent to 5.04 per cent in the reporting period from 4.86 per cent a week ago, mainly due to costlier primary and manufactured items.

Hitting people hard, both food and non-food articles’ prices zoomed, pushing up inflation, which had been on the rise right from January.

The WPI rose by 0.2 per cent to 168.7 from the previous week’s mark of 168.4, even as the increase in the domestic price of fuel was contained, notwithstanding the rise in the global oil prices due to war outcries by the US. The index was 160.6 in the previous year.

The final WPI stood corrected at 167.1 for the week ended December 14 compared with the provisional figure of 167 and final inflation was at 3.21 per cent against the provisional figure of 3.15 per cent.

State deficit

States raised Rs 15,663 crore by January 2003, 90.7 per cent of the allocated gross market borrowings for the current fiscal. Their gross fiscal deficit is budgeted to decline 3.5 per cent at Rs 1,02,848 crore in 2002-03 compared with Rs 1,06,595 crore previous year, RBI’s study of state budgets said.

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