Veggies, pulses push up inflation after 4-week lull
India’s annual food inflation rose in mid-January after steadying for the previous four weeks, scaling on the back of high lentil and vegetable prices.delhi Updated: Jan 28, 2010 23:50 IST
India’s annual food inflation rose in mid-January after steadying for the previous four weeks, scaling on the back of high lentil and vegetable prices.
The benchmark food price index in the 12 months to January 16 was 17.40 per cent, up from 16.81 per cent in the previous week. Economists now fear a fallout on larger economy, as cooling food prices in Asia’s third largest economy is proving tricky.
Through January, consumers were faced with high potato and pulse prices, which rose 57.56 and 46.87 per cent, respectively, from a year ago.
Milk prices rose 13.95 per cent and wheat went up 14.48 per cent, Thursday’s data showed. December 5, the country’s food inflation had risen the highest in 11 years at 19.95 per cent.
“We expect India’s core inflation to pick up,” Sonal Varma, economist at brokerage firm Nomura Holdings Inc, said.
Economists widely expect the Reserve Bank of India to hike the cash reserve ratio - the amount banks must set side as reserve capital - to 5.5 per cent from 5 per cent to curb inflation.
The central bank will unveil its monetary policy on Friday.
On Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said monetary measures were now necessary, hinting that routine steps to tame prices were not working.
The Cabinet Committee on Prices on January 13 announced a slew of price-tame measures, announcing sale of 3 million metric tonnes of stocked grains in the open market until March and duty-free imports of white sugar until December 31 to shore up supplies.