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Inflation declines to 8.23% in January

New Delhi: New Delhi: Inflation declined marginally to 8.23 percent in January from 8.43 percent in the previous month, as prices of certain commodities like wheat, pulses and sugar eased, although essential items like onion and other vegetables continue to remain dearer.

The headline inflation, based on wholesale prices, has remained above 8 percent-mark since January 2010.

The fall in inflation has been mainly on account of declining prices of sugar (down 14.99 percent), pulses (12.78 percent), wheat (4.94 percent) and potato (1.21 percent).

However, vegetable and fruits continued to remain expensive. On an annual basis, vegetable prices rose by 65 percent, and onion prices nearly doubled. Also, fruits became costly by 15.01 percent and egg, meat and fish by 15.09 percent.

Overall, primary articles became costly by 17.28 percent with food articles rising 15.65 percent.

In the non-food articles category, fibre prices rose by 48 percent on an annual basis.

Prices of fuel and power shot up by 11.41 percent, with petrol rising 27.37 percent on an year-on-year basis.

However, among manufactured items, sugar prices fell by 15 percent, while edible oils turned costlier by 7.16 percent.

The inflation number for November has also been revised upwards to 8.08 percent from 7.48 percent, according to government data released today.

The easing of inflation is expected to come as a morale booster for the government which have been under pressure due to high prices of food items in recent months.

It also shows that Reserve Bank of India’s action of raising rates seven times since March 2010 has started showing some result.

It may be recalled, the food inflation, which accounts for over 14 percent in the overall Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation, has remained high since December scaling up to 18.32 percent.

At its third quarterly review last month, the RBI revised its inflation estimate to 7 percent by March-end, from the earlier 5.5 percent.

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