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What price?

india Updated: Mar 15, 2009 22:35 IST

Hindustan Times
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Did I hear you right? Is inflation going to be negative?
Absolutely. Next month we should be hitting the sweet spot. The price line will dip for a wee bit.

You mean prices haven’t been falling all this while? What’s the hullabaloo over inflation coming down?
Aha, there’s the rub. Prices aren’t falling yet, they’re rising much slower than last year. Somewhere, some grey eminence is scratching his beard and murmuring, “high base effect”.

But you did say prices will fall…
Er, some prices will. Mostly of stuff you were last acquainted with in high-school chemistry books, like isobutyl methyl ether.

What about my grocery bill?
There, my friend, we enter the arcane realm of the cost of living. You see, a price index could be headed up, down or any which way, but you invariably keep paying more for the stuff you buy.

And there I was planning to buy a 60-inch plasma screen…
That’s the spirit. Ask not what the economy can do for you, go out and buy. Every bit counts. We can, I’m told, spend our way out of this mess. Prices will then surely start climbing again.

Thanks, that puts me out of my misery.
There’s a reason why they call it headline inflation.

Do say: Lies, damn lies and statistics.
Don’t say: Charge it.