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Inflation turns negative though food costlier than last year

Inflation turned negative 1.61 for the first time in thirty years but the prices of food items like fruit and vegetables, cereals and oil were still higher than last year.

business Updated: Jun 18, 2009 17:15 IST

Inflation turned negative 1.61 for the first time in thirty years but the prices of food items like fruit and vegetables, cereals and oil were still higher than last year.

With the wholesale price index shrinking to 232.7 points for the week ended June 6 from 236.5 in the same week a year
ago, India possibly is the only major economy moving into a deflationary zone though the European region is near zero
level due to recessionary pressures.

The stock markets immediately welcomed the development and jumped by about 200 points from the morning lows as marketanalysts expect this to help further ease the monetary policy restrictions and pave the way for cut in banks' lending rates.

Releasing the wholesale price data, the government said in a statement that "the annual rate of inflation, calculated
on a point to point to basis stood at minus 1.61 per cent for the week ended June 6 as compared to 0.13 per cent for the previous week and 11.66 per cent during the corresponding week of previous year".

However, food articles were costlier by 8.7 per cent from the comparable week last year as pulses moved up 17 per cent, cereals 13.5 per cent, and fruit and vegetables 10 per cent.

The dip was on account of a fall in fuel prices as international crude oil is now ruling around 70 dollars a barrel against over 140 dollars a barrel during the year-ago period.