RTTNews - India's inflation rate for the week ended May 23 was less than one percent for the twelfth successive week at 0.48%, compared to the previous week's 0.61%. The inflation rate was 8.90% for the corresponding week of the preceding year, say data released Thursday by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Going by the provisional figures, the wholesale price index or WPI for all- commodities rose by 0.04% to 232.3 from 232.2 for the preceding week.

Inflation, based on the wholesale price index fell, despite higher prices of raw silk, tea, fruits and vegetables, spices and gram as also some manufactured products covered under all-category groups.

The final estimate of inflation for the week ended March 28 was enhanced to 0.84% from the earlier provisional figure of 0.26%.

The main index for primary articles rose by 0.2%, due to the higher prices of raw silk, tea, raw rubber, jowar, eggs, maize, fruits and vegetables, grams, as also condiments and spices. However, the prices of ragi, barley and gingelly seed declined.

The index representing fuel, power, light and lubricants was unchanged at its previous week's level of 324.0.

The index of Manufactured Products also remained unchanged at its previous week's level of 203.5. Though the index remained stable, the prices of texturised yarn, all types of other boards, nylon filament yarn, hessian cloth, hessian and sacking bags, cement, as also steel ingots moved up, while those of air conditioners, zinc, injection moulded plastic items, cycle tubes, zinc ingots, lead ingots and truck chassis (diesel) decreased.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said next month's budget would include further measure to support growth. He assured special attention would be given to sectors such as textiles, leather and gems and jewellery, infrastructure development, among others, that were badly hit by the global meltdown.

He pointed out that the government had already announced three stimulus packages. However, he promised appropriate measures for the economy and said the government would take a fresh look at the fiscal deficit as it had crossed the previously self-imposed ceiling.

Reserve Bank of India estimates inflation to be around 4% by next March-end. The central bank's next monetary policy statement is due in Mumbai late next month.

Commenting on inflation numbers, B. Prasanna, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Securities, said, Inflation has been a non-event for quite some time now as far as bond yields are concerned. Almost everybody in the market has been expecting inflation in the negative territory for quite some time and it has been postponed to sometime in August when people were expecting it to happen in March. We are probably going to see negative territory on the inflation if not next week maybe a couple of weeks down the line and possibly because of the high base effect we could see the negative territory.

On the other hand, Shubhada Rao, chief economist, Yes bank, Mumbai, said, Once again, we can assume seasonal pressures on the primary articles appear to be waning, which has resulted in a small increment in the week-over-week index. We could likely see a negative inflation in a couple of weeks. We need to monitor global crude and commodity prices as we see inflation pressures gradually build up with the recovery in the second half.

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