New Delhi: Declining fuel prices pushed down inflation sharply for the sixth consecutive week to 6.84 per cent, the lowest in nine months, a development that could prompt the Reserve Bank to take more bold steps to boost economic growth.
Inflation dipped by 1.16 percentage points from 8 per cent in the previous week, primarily on account of reduction in prices of petrol and diesel announced by the government in the first week of the month.
It was 6.21 per cent in the week ended March 1, 2008. The rate during the corresponding period last year was 3.84 per cent.
The government reduced the per litre prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 2 respectively with effect from December 6 in the wake of falling prices of crude oil in the international market.
Also, the prices of those items which are not decided by the government came down during the week. The index of ‘fuel, power, light and lubricants’ fell by 3.7 per cent, as prices of petrol, jet fuel (Aviation Turbine Fuel), naphtha and furnace oil declined by 10 per cent, 7 per cent, 23 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
In addition to fuel items, the prices of fruits and vegetables, various pulses steel, pig iron and certain metals too declined during the week.
RBI has taken a host of measures releasing as much as Rs 3,00,000 crore to fuel growth and with the inflation coming down further, it might take more steps to boost industrial output.