New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) Despite food inflation ruling indouble digits, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee todayasserted the "actual" food prices have come down substantiallyfor the week ended February 5, expressing confidence it wouldcome to single digit "in quite some time".
Food inflation has declined to a 2-month low of 11.05 percent for the week ended February 5, from 13.07 per cent in theprevious week.
"Inflation in food articles has come down sharply...actual food prices have fallen very substantially with theindex going down to 182.9 from 186.9 in the previous week,"Mukherjee said.
Driven by high vegetable prices, the food inflation is indouble digit for the past two months and even crossed 18 percent in the last week of December 25.
"...in quite some time food inflation will also be undersingle digit," the Finance Minister added.
However, Mukherjee cautioned that weekly and monthlyfluctuations in inflation numbers "are always deceptive".
Mukherjee said the decline in food inflation shouldresult in overall inflation going down over the next 1 or 2months.
"I hope as I mentioned earlier, by March we able to reachoverall inflation of 7 per cent," he said.
The headline inflation measured on WPI has alsomoderated, coming down to 8.23 per cent in January from 8.43per cent in the previous month.
The decline in food inflation for the past two weeksprompted Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek SinghAhluwalia to say the trend would continue.
"I am glad that (food) inflation has come down and I doexpect that (the decline) would actually continue," Ahluwaliasaid.