New Delhi, April 27 (PTI): High prices of electricity and manufactured products drove up inflation to two years’ high of 6.47 per cent for the week ended April 12 as against a mere 1.37 per cent in the year-ago period.
Tall claims of the government’s anti-inflationary policies to check inflation notwithstanding, price increase in essential commodities, including fruits and vegetables, led to 0.30 per cent hike in point-to-point wholesale price index (WPI) from a week ago level of 6.17 per cent, apparently due to the brisk buying compounded by fears of a truck strike.
Though prices of many primary items fell during the week in review, WPI rose by 0.3 per cent to 172.7 points compared with 172.1 in the previous week. The index was 162.2 in the year-ago period.
With summer picking up in northern India and supply constraints remaining as in the previous years, the excess demand for electricity pulled up its prices by 2 per cent, which analysts feel could “adversely” affect the manufacturing sector, causing inflation to scale new highs in the weeks to come.
The final WPI stood corrected at 169.5 for the week ended February 15 compared with the provisional level of 168.8 and the final inflation was 5.34 per cent as against the provisional figure of 4.91 per cent.
Primary articles’ group index declined by 0.1 per cent to 179.4 mainly on account of 0.2 per cent fall in the prices of food articles, even as non-food items became costlier by 0.4 per cent. The index was 168.7 in the previous year. Food articles’ group index fell by 0.2 per cent due to price fall in barley (7 per cent), poultry chicken (4 per cent), fish-inland (3 per cent), wheat, maize, ragi and fish-marine (2 per cent each) and eggs (1 per cent). There was 2 per cent rise in prices of vegetables and fruits and 1 per cent each in gram, arhar and moong.
Substantial price rise in some non-food items pushed up its index to 183.3 mainly on account of 4 per cent rise in the price of rape, mustard seed and soyabean, 2 per cent each in linseed and castor seed.