In a much-awaited respite from rising prices, food inflation eased significantly to 9.01 per cent for the week ended November 12 from 10.63 per cent in the previous week, lifting hopes of the overall price situation improving further in the months ahead. Even though the decline in WPI (Wholesale Price Index) food inflation to single digit has been, in a large measure, owing to a ‘high base' effect in that it was at a high of 11.38 per cent during the like week in 2011, the downtrend appeared to kindle Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's hopes on a further moderation. Commenting on the official data, Mr. Mukherjee said: “If these trends continue for the next two weeks, I hope there will be moderation in inflation and it will have an impact on the year-end inflationary figures…Normally, I do not have much confidence in the weekly figures. But if the trend continues, let us hope for the best.'' The inflation numbers, however, do not present a convincing picture of prices easing any time soon.

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