Food price inflation nears 18 per cent

The annual rate of inflation based on the wholesale price index of food articles (base: 1993-94=100) increased further to 17.94 per cent during the week ended 30 January 2010, from 17.56 per cent during the previous week, as prices continued to climb for the third week in succession.

Food price inflation stood at 10.98 per cent in the comparable week a year ago (week ended 31 January 2009).

The build-up of food price inflation so far during the financial year beginning 1 April 2009 stood at 17.70 per cent compared with 6.75 per cent during the same period of the previous year.

The wholesale price index of the 'food articles' group rose 0.3 per cent to 287.3 (provisional) from 286.5 (provisional) in the previous week due to higher prices of pork and fruits and vegetables (2 per cent each) and fish (marine), condiments and spices and bajra (1 per cent each). However, the prices of eggs (-5 per cent), arhar and tea (-3 per cent each), urad and gram (-2 per cent each) and fish-inland, masur and barley (-1 per cent each) declined.

The index of the 'non-food articles' group declined 0.5 per cent to 255.6 (provisional) from 256.8 (provisional) in the previous week due to lower prices of skins (raw) (-4 per cent), raw rubber (-3 per cent), raw cotton (-2 per cent) and linseed and mesta (-1 per cent each). However, the prices of raw silk, copra and groundnut seed (1 per cent each) moved up.

The index of the primary articles group as a whole rose 0.1 per cent to 285.2 (provisional) from 284.9 (provisional) in the previous week.

The annual rate of inflation based on the index of the primary articles as a whole stood at 15.75 per cent  (provisional) during the week ended 30 January 2010 against 14.56 per cent (provisional) in the previous week and 8.17 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year (ended 31 January 2009).

The index of the `fuel, power, light and lubricants' group rose 1.2 per cent to 355.4 (provisional) from 351.2 (provisional) in the previous week due to higher prices of non-coking coal (15 per cent) and coking coal (11 per cent).
 
The inflation rate based on the index of `fuel, power, light and lubricants' stood at 10.44 per cent (provisional) during the week under review compared with 5.88 per cent (provisional) in the previous week and (-) 3.54 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year (ended 31 January 2009).