Monday, November 29, 1999

Food inflation eases to 16.12 pc

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New Delhi, June 17 (PTI) Annual food inflation eased to 16.12 per cent for the week ended June 5 as prices of fruits and vegetables, and tea softened. The annual rate of price rise of food items in the previous week was 16.74 per cent. Week-on-week, prices of fruits and vegetables fell by six per cent and tea became cheaper by two per cent during the week under review. Fruits cost 14 per cent less. However, prices of urad rose six per cent and that of maize, bajra and gram inched up by one per cent each. When compared to the same period a year ago, prices of potato fell 35 per cent and that of onion by 17.80 per cent. Pulses, however, became costlier by 34 per cent and milk by 21 per cent. High food inflation is primarily driving overall inflation up, and it entered double digits (10.16 per cent) in May, according to provisional figures. Also, final figures for March showed that inflation was 11.04 per cent from 9.9 per cent projected earlier. Prices of edibles had started rising last year and peaked to over 20 per cent in December 2009 after food production was hit by poor monsoon that accounts for 80 per cent of the annual rains the country receives. Nearly 60 per cent of area under cultivation is rain fed. The weather office has predicted near normal monsoon this year, although it has been slow to advance since hitting the Indian coast in late May.

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