Food inflation climbs to 16.55 percent

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) Despite the government’s best efforts to talk it down, India’s annual food inflation shot up to 16.55 percent for the week ended May 22, owing to high prices of pulses, milk and fruits, official data released Thursday showed.

The food inflation was 16.23 percent during the previous week.

Data on the wholesale price index (WPI) released by the commerce and industry ministry showed that food index rose 0.5 percent and non-food index increased by 0.41 percent during the week under review.

Fuel prices climbed 14.14 percent during the week against 12.08 percent in the week before.

The primary articles index was up 16.89 percent, compared to a 15.9 percent rise during the previous week.

Following are the rise and fall in prices of some essential food items over the 52-week period:

– Pulses: 30.84 percent

– Milk: 21.12 percent

– Fruits: 13.74 percent

– Rice: 7.3 percent

– Cereals: 5.33 percent

– Wheat: 3.07 percent

– Potatoes: (-)34.09 percent

– Onions : (-) 11.55 percent

The overall annual rate of inflation in April stood at 9.59 percent.

With food inflation not coming down and in fact spreading to non-food articles, some policy action by the Reserve Bank of India in its quarterly review can be expected next month.

Policymakers meanwhile are hoping for a good monsoon to help ease prices.

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