Get ready for this shocker. The prices of onions, fruits, vegetables and protein-based items are defying gravity and climbing much faster than you blink. The sting in the tale is the price index is ruling at a four-and-half month high of 9.90 percent during the week ended July 30.
Onions are the wrecker-in-chief. The prices zoomed 36.62 percent year-on-year while fruits became 16.49 percent more expensive, the government data showed on Thursday. Food inflation, as measured by Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 8.04 percent in the previous week. The rate of price rise in food items was recorded at 16.45 percent in the last week of July, 2010.
During the week under review, vegetables overall became dearer by 14.61 percent and prices of eggs, meat and fish were up by 13.44 percent on an annual basis. In addition, cereals got dearer by 6.22 percent, potatoes by 10.85 percent and milk by 10.38 per cent. However, pulses became cheaper by almost 6 percent on an annual basis.
The latest numbers are likely to put further pressure on the government and the Reserve Bank, who have been battling the high rate of price rise over a period of of one-and-a-half years. This is the highest rate of price rise in food items since the week ended March 12, when food inflation stood at 10.05 percent.
Overall, primary articles recorded inflation of 12.22 percent for the week ended July 30, up from 10.99 percent in the previous week. Primary articles have a share of over 20 percent in the WPI. However, inflation in non-food articles, which include fibres, oil seeds and minerals, fell to 15.05 percent from 15.60 percent in the previous week.
Meanwhile, fuel and power inflation stood at 12.19 percent for the week ended July 30, marginally up from 12.12 percent in the week ended July 23. Food inflation was in double digits for most of 2010, but had started to moderate since March this year.
It fell to a 20-month low of 7.33 percent in mid-July, but the rate of price rise of food items has been on the rise ever since. Headline inflation stood at 9.44 percent in June. The RBI has already hiked interest rates 11 times since March, 2010, to tame demand and curb inflation.
In its Economic Outlook for 2011-12 released earlier this month, the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council projected headline inflation to remain high at around 9 percent till October. The rate of price rise will ease from November, declining to around 6.5 percent by March 2012, it said.
The report also said that while pressure from food inflation has fallen in recent months, the rate of price rise still remains quite high, with the possibility of a further surge in coming months.
Earlier this week, the government informed Parliament that demand-supply mismatches were responsible for the current inflationary situation in the country.
(With inputs from PTI)
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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 05:26:21 IST