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No inflation for first time in 30 years

At -1.61 per cent, the wholesale price based inflation rate turned negative for the week ended June 6 — the first time in three decades, according to government data released today, reports HT Correspondent.

business Updated: Jun 19, 2009 01:27 IST
HT Correspondent

At -1.61 per cent, the wholesale price based inflation rate turned negative for the week ended June 6 — the first time in three decades, according to government data released on Thursday.

Inflation measures the rate at which prices go up.

For consumers, however, there is little to cheer, as the negative inflation rate does not mirror the movement in retail prices that continue to rise or remain at elevated levels.

The index used to measure the inflation rate based on wholesale prices assigns only 22 per cent to food and essential commodities that determine the cost of living of most people.

Prices in this category rose 5.7 per cent in the week ended June 6, but the increase was more than offset by a 12.7 per cent drop in prices of fuel products.

In this month last year, the government had sharply increased petrol and diesel prices to cut losses of oil companies. As global crude prices softened, prices of petrol and diesel at home were restored to pre-June 2008 levels.

“(The) wholesale price index is likely to be in the negative region for some time to come. This is something ...(that does) not really lead us to any major policy shift,” Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters.