Food inflation rose marginally to 17.97 per cent for the week ended February 6 on account of rising prices of potatoes and onions.

The wholesale price-based food inflation rose for the fourth consecutive week. In the previous week it stood at 17.94 per cent.

Potato prices were up 57.67 per cent from last year’s level, while onions were dearer by 29.92 per cent.

The inflation for primary articles, which include food and non-food items in raw form, increased to 16.23 per cent during the week from 15.75 per cent a week earlier.

The price index for food articles, on weekly basis, moved up 0.1 per cent on account of higher rates of moong and poultry chicken (3 per cent each), while rates of fish marine rose by 2 per cent and barley and wheat became dearer by one per cent each.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said rising inflation was a matter of concern but exuded confidence it would ease in the next few months. “That is (rising inflation) a matter of concern, no doubt...I am afraid...8.5 per cent wholesale price index rise is disturbing...(but) I do hope that over a period of few months, it will be possible to have the moderate rate of inflation,” Mr. Mukherjee had said.

Wholesale price-based overall inflation rose to 8.56 per cent in January, shooting past the RBI’s forecast of 8.5 per cent for this fiscal end.

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