India's inflation rate for the week ended April 11 rose marginally to 0.26% from 0.18% a week before. It stood at 7.95% for the corresponding week of the preceding year, data released Thursday by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry say.

Going by provisional figures, the wholesale price index or WPI for all- commodities rose by 0.3% to 228.8 from 228.2 for the preceding week.

Inflation, based on the wholesale price index, increased mainly due to higher prices of fruits and vegetables, tea, salt, raw rubber, groundnut seed and some manufactured items covered under all-category groups.

The final estimate of inflation for the week ended February 14 was lowered to 3.18% from the earlier provisional figure of 3.36%.

The main index for primary articles rose by 0.5%, due to higher prices of raw rubber, tea, bajra, jowar, groundnut seed as well as fruits and vegetables. However, those of niger seed, fodder, raw silk, copra and gram as well as barley declined.

The index representing fuel, power, light and lubricants was unchanged at its previous week's level of 322.6.

The index of Manufactured Products rose by 0.2%, due to the higher prices of imported edible oil, PVC resins, oilcakes, building bricks, steel ingots, zinc, rice bran oil, groundnut oil, salt, gingelly oil as well as sugar, while those of hydraulic pumps, rapeoil, mustard oil, chlorine, atta as well as bop film dropped.

The Reserve Bank of India or RBI Governor, D. Subba Rao, said the wholesale price index might turn negative in the next few months, though that should be interpreted as deflation, as consumer-price gains continue to run at near double-digits.

RBI, at its Annual Policy Tuesday, projected inflation for the fiscal 2010 in the range of 4.0% to 4.5%. However, it was expecting inflation at around 3% in the medium-term.

On April 21, Governor Subba Rao cut the central bank's repo rate to 4.75% from 5% and the reverse repo rate to 3.25% from 3.5% with immediate effect, keeping the cash reserve ratio and bank rate unaltered.

Sherman Chan, an economist at Moody's Economy.com in Sydney, said the sharp deceleration of wholesale price growth was a clear indication that inflationary pressures had evaporated and the India's apex bank should now focus more on reviving economic growth.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com