Even as food inflation eased to 8.84 per cent for the week ended September 10 from 9.47 per cent a week ago, the much needed respite from spiralling prices remained only on paper as items like onions, potatoes and milk continued to rule at higher levels. The only solace that the WPI provided to the common man was that food inflation during the like week in 2010 was way higher at 16.30 per cent. In other words, it is again the statistical anomaly of a “high base effect” that has come into play to show a decline.

As per the WPI data, barring wheat prices which slipped by 2.72 per cent, all other edibles were more expensive on a year-on-year basis. Prices of onions, for instance, were higher by 29 per cent while potatoes were 13.78 per cent dearer and vegetables, as a whole, were 12.13 per cent costlier.

To add to the consumers' misery, milk prices were up again by 10.38 per cent.

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