Agri Business

Easing vegetable prices lower food inflation to single digit

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 21, 2011 Published on March 10, 2011

INFLATION   -  Business Line

With vegetable prices softening, food inflation has slowed down to single digit figures for the first time in three months. For the week ended February 26, food inflation has touched a three-month low of 9.52 per cent, almost one percentage point lower than 10.39 per cent in the previous week.

The latest WPI figures show that inflationary pressures are currently coming mainly from fruits, milk, meat and eggs.

On the other hand the price situation of cereals, pulses and sugar is under control. Even vegetable prices have begun softening.

For the week ended February 26, prices of fruits went up by 18.75 per cent year-on-year while egg, meat and fish prices went up by 15.38 per cent during the period.

Inflation in vegetable prices stood 9.23 per cent, two percentage points lower than 11.01 per cent last year.

Cereal prices were only marginally higher by 2.02 per cent.

In the corresponding week last year, food inflation stood at 22.02 per cent.

Potato, wheat and pulses prices were lower during the week by 8.96 per cent, 1.01 per cent and 3.91 respectively.

Meanwhile, encouraged by the single digit food inflation numbers, the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman, Dr C Rangarajan said that food inflation should come down to below 7 per cent by the end of March. Similar views were echoed by the Chief Economic Advisor, Prof Kaushik Basu at a separate function in Pune.

Non-food articles

Inflation in non-food articles for the week ended February 26 stood at 29.85, close to one percentage point lower than 30.81 in the previous week. This was due to lower prices of flowers (19 per cent), raw rubber (3 per cent), raw silk (2 per cent) and sunflower and raw jute (1 per cent each). However, the prices of castorseed (6 per cent), niger seed (4 per cent), copra and soyabean (2 per cent each) and gaur seed, groundnut seed and fodder (1 per cent each) moved up. The inflation in minerals stood at 15.85 per cent.

The fuel and power inflation also remained in single digit figures at 9.48 per cent. Liquefied Petroleum Gas index showed an increase of 14.99 per cent, petrol rose by 23.14 per cent while high speed diesel oil grew by 6.22 per cent.

Primary Articles

Inflation for the combined primary articles group, comprising food, non-food articles and minerals, increased by 13.96 per cent on an annual basis, and less than one percentage point lower than the previous week.

Published on March 10, 2011

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