Food inflation inches up to 15.57 pc

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) Snapping the downward trend oftwo consecutive weeks, food inflation inched up marginally to15.57 per cent for the period ended January 15, on account ofescalating vegetable prices, particularly, onions.

Food inflation for the week ended January 8, was recordedat 15.52 per cent.

The uptick in latest food inflation figure is likely toput further pressure on the government grappling withexpensive food commodities and a slowing industrial growththat dipped to the 18-month low of 2.7 per cent for November.

The goverment has already adopted measures like exportban on onions to make the kitchen staple more affordable tomasses. Further, the RBI in its third quarter monetary policyreview on Tuesday hiked key policy rates by 25 basis points toscotch the inflationary pressures.

During the week under review, vegetable prices soared by67.07 per cent on an annual basis.

Onions went up by a huge 111.58 per cent year-on-year,thus, showing that government initiatives like export ban werenot proving sufficiently effective.

On an annual basis, prices of fruits went up by 16.40 percent while milk became expensive by 12.44 per cent. Prices ofegg, meat and fish went up by 13.58 per cent year-on-year.

Cereal prices, too, went up marginally by 0.53 per cent,with rice going up by 2.79 per cent.

However, wheat and pulses became cheaper on annual basisby 5.75 per cent and 14.07 per cent, respectively.

In indication that spike in food commodities was becomingingrained into the wider economy, in the non-food category,the prices of fibres and minerals were up by 47.23 per centand 19.52 per cent, respectively.

Fuel and power also became dearer by 10.87 per centyear-on-year.

The headline inflation in December had risen to 8.43 percent, up from 7.48 per cent in the previous month, mainlydriven by costly food items.

At its quarterly review earlier this week, the RBI hadrevised its headline inflation estimate to 7 per cent by endof March, up from the earlier estimate of 5.5 per cent. PTIPPB


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