Food inflation declines , still in double digits

New Delhi : India’s food inflation declined for the second consecutive week at 10.39 percent for the week ended Nov 5, but still continued to be in double digits, official data showed Thursday.

Food inflation had shot up to over double digits as the festive season approached in October, pushing demand higher. For the week under review, prices of vegetables, pulses, eggs and meat were still on the higher side, according to data made available by the commerce and industry ministry.

The spike in food inflation in the four weeks of October, for which data is available, has been attributed to a rise in demand as the month had many important festivals, raising demand.

Overall inflation too has remained stubbornly high, near double digits, since January 2010. Headline inflation based on the wholesale price index was recorded at 9.73 percent in October, according to the latest official data.

In the week under review, the primary articles index, which has a 20.12 percent weight in the wholesale price index, rose by a slower 10.39 percent as compared to 11.43 percent in the previous week.

The index of fuel and power rose to 15.49 percent compared to 14.5 percent in the previous week, while the index for non-food articles declined to 5.33 percent.

To contain inflation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has hiked key interest rates 13 times since early 2010, but the frequent tightening has not had much impact on soaring food prices.

The following are the yearly rise and fall in prices under review of some main commodities that form the sub-index for food articles:

Onions: (-) 22.89 percent

Vegetables: 27.26 percent

Fruits: 5.99 percent

Potatoes: 1.61 percent

Eggs, meat, fish: 11.73 percent

Cereals: 3.53 percent

Rice: 4.03 percent

Wheat: (-) 3.63 percent

Pulses: 14.44 percent

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