Food inflation rises to 12.81 percent

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) After dropping for two straight weeks, India’s annual food inflation rose to 12.81 percent for the week ended July 3, reflecting the hike in fuel prices in the last week of June which made pulses and cereals costlier.

In the previous week, food inflation was at 12.63 percent.

Fuel prices eased to 14.27 percent, due to a decline in prices of furnace oil, compared to a rise of 18.02 percent for the week ending June 26.

Data released by the commerce ministry Thursday showed prices of pulses had risen around 29 percent, and milk by 15 percent, while vegetables became cheaper by 5 percent.

The index for primary articles was up at 16.25 percent, compared to 16.08 percent a week ago, while the sub-index for non-food items rose to 18.85 percent from previous week’s 18.6 percent increase.

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: 6.04 percent

Rice: 6.1 percent

Wheat: 5.54 percent

Pulses: 28.98 percent

Vegetables: (-)5.7 percent

Fruits: 11.54 percent

Milk: 15.91 percent

Potatoes: (-)42.98 percent

Onions: (-)4.99 percent

The progress of the monsoon has helped deflate high food prices, but the hike in fuel prices has resulted in a short-term spike.

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said Wednesday that prices would come down to a comfortable level by December, helped by good monsoon.

The fuel price increase has shot the overall inflation up to 10.55 percent in June.

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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