Food inflation eases to 9.03 %

Food inflation eased to 9.03 per cent for the week ended August 6 from 9.90 per cent in the previous week even as prices of all edibles, barring pulses, continued to rule at higher levels.

Understandably, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, as always, dubbed the over 9 per cent food inflation level as “not acceptable” while hoping that the government's policies coupled with a good monsoon would help in containing the price spiral.

Commenting on the WPI (wholesale price index) data released here on Thursday, Mr. Mukherjee said: “Food inflation at the level of 9 per cent is not acceptable. I do hope the measures taken to remove supply constraints in some of the agricultural commodities and good monsoon will help to have further moderating influence on the prices of food and other essential commodities”.

The inflation data for the week showed that except pulses which turned 5.63 per cent cheaper on a year-on-year basis, onion prices were up 37.62 per cent as were fruits by 26.46 per cent. Likewise, while eggs, meat and fish were more expensive by 9.93 per cent, so was milk by 9.76 per cent. Cereals and vegetables were also dearer by 6.23 per cent and 2.59 per cent, respectively.

According to economic analysts, the volatile trend in food inflation is likely to continue for some more time. For, apart from the effect of a high base — food inflation was at over 14 per cent during the like week a year ago — the marginal easing could also be attributed to a week-on-week moderation in inflation even as prices continued to move up. For instance, the rate of price rise during the week ended July 30 in items such as vegetables, potatoes, milk, egg, meat and fish was higher on an annual basis compared to the first week of August.

Overall, however, while inflation in primary articles stood pegged lower at 11.64 per cent against 12.22 per cent in the previous week, inflation in non-food articles rose to 16.07 per cent from 15.05 per cent earlier. Inflation in fuel and power was also higher at 13.13 per cent for the week ended August 6 against 12.19 per cent a week ago.

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