India’s food inflation ups further to 19 percent (Lead)

December 10th, 2009 - 3:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) There was no respite from galloping grocery bills as the country’s annual food inflation, based on wholesale prices, upped further to 19.05 percent for the week ended Nov 28 from 17.47 percent the week before, as per official data released Thursday.
Inflation of primary articles rose 13.9 percent during the week against 12.53 percent in the previous week, while that for fuel rose a marginal 0.06 percent.

This was because petrol became cheaper by 11.86 percent, diesel by 5.88 percent and cooking gas by 7.42 percent.

Food articles as a group rose 1.7 percent primarily due to a 3 percent increase in prices of moong, spices and arhar, a 2 percent increase in that of fish, and 1 percent rise for gram, wheat, tea and rice, according to data released by the commerce and industry ministry.

Following are the average rise in prices of some essential food items over a 52-week period:

- Potatoes: 102.19 percent

- Pulses: 41.96 percent

- Vegetables: 31.03 percent

- Onions: 23.46 percent

- Cereals: 12.76 percent

- Wheat: 12.6 percent

- Fruits: 12.54 percent

- Milk: 11.36 percent

Inflation for non-food articles rose at a faster pace — 1.7 percent during the week under review. While raw rubber prices increased 13 percent, those for groundnut and castor seed went up 5 percent. However, price of tobacco fell 2 percent.

Reserve Bank of India Governor D. Subba Rao Wednesday had expressed concern over the food price inflation in the country, saying that it could fuel “inflationary expectations”.

“If food price inflation persists for long, they can fuel inflationary expectations and the monetary policy will have to take a view on this,” Rao told reporters in Kolkata.

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