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Food inflation eases to 12.63 percent

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) India’s annual food inflation dropped to 12.63 percent for the week ended June 26 from previous week’s 12.92 per cent with the easing of prices of food items.

But fuel prices jumped 18.02 percent during the period under review.

Data released by the commerce ministry Thursday showed an over 40 percent fall in potato prices and a more than 8 percent decline in onion prices and single-digit rises in cereal, wheat and rice prices helped to weaken the food inflation.

The index for primary articles was up at 16.08 percent, with the sub-index for non-food items at 18.6 percent.

Following are the rise and fall in prices of some of the main commodities that form the sub-index for food articles over the past 52 weeks:

Cereals: 5.78 percent

Rice: 5.81 percent

Wheat: 5.49 percent

Pulses: 30.09 percent

Vegetables: (-)4.24 percent

Fruits: 7.81 percent

Milk: 15.91 percent

Potatoes: (-)42.11 percent

Onions: (-)8.75 percent

With the monsoon picking up the pace and spreading across the country, including the foodgrain bowls, a further reduction in inflation is expected.

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said Wednesday that inflation would ease into a comfortable zone by December.

However, analysts said the second consecutive weekly fall in food inflation would give little cheer to policymakers, as the recent fuel price hike could push up the inflation level.

The Reserve Bank of India is expected to hike key interest rates by another 25 basis points when it takes up its quarterly monetary policy review July 27, after raising it by a similar quantum July 2.

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