Snapping the five week rising trend, food inflation softened to 16.91 per cent for the week ended January 1, 2011, although vegetables, onions and protein—based items continued to remained costly.

Food inflation fell by 1.41 percentage points from 18.32 per cent recorded in the previous reporting week.

Even as the index of food inflation showed a meagre decline, vegetable prices soared by 70.73 per cent on an annual basis in the wholesale market, official data showed.

Also onions continued to pinch the pocket of the common man as the prices went up by 70.70 per cent on a year on year basis.

Among the individual items in the food inflation index, egg, meat and fish became costly by 16.70 per cent, milk by 13.20 per cent and fruits by 17.71 per cent annually.

However, prices of pulses declined by 14.84 per cent, wheat by 4.87 per cent, potatoes by 1.67 per cent and cereals by 0.12 per cent on an annual basis.

Meanwhile, in the non—food category, the prices of fibres and minerals have climbed up by 36.71 per cent and 16.70 per cent, respectively.

Food inflation has remained high for the entire month of December. The rising food prices will get reflected in the monthly inflation data for December, scheduled to be announced tomorrow.

The headline inflation in November had come down to 7.48 per cent from 8.58 per cent a month ago.

Keywords: Food inflation

More In: Economy | Business