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India’s annual inflation enters double digits at 10.16 percent

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) Driven by higher food and fuel prices, India’s annual inflation touched double digits at 10.16 percent in May, rising from 9.59 percent in April, the government said Monday.

The annual inflation was 1.38 percent during May 2009.

Data released by the commerce ministry showed prices of food articles rose 16.49 percent last month, against 16.87 percent in April, while that for fuels increased 13.05 percent in the month under review.

Prices of primary articles went up by 16.6 percent in May, a sharper increase from the 13.88 percent in April, signalling that inflation was getting increasingly broad based.

Manufactured products became expensive by 6.41 percent during the month under review.

The new data is expected to make the Reserve Bank of India’s task more difficult when it takes up the quarterly monetary policy review in July.

A change in policy rates might not do much to temper high inflation owing to high food prices until the supply side of the equation is fixed.

The government has released some food grain stocks into the market, and is hoping that a normal-to-good monsoon will help rein in the galloping prices.

Latest food inflation figures have shown that respite is not in sight at least for some more time as prices of food articles have gone up by 16.74 percent for the week ended May 29.

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