Food inflation inches up to 15.57%
Snapping the downward trend of two consecutive weeks, food inflation inched up marginally to 15.57% for the period ended January 15, on account of escalating vegetable prices, particularly, onions.
Food inflation for the week ended January 8, was recorded at 15.52%.
The uptick in latest food inflation figure is likely to put further pressure on the government grappling with expensive food commodities and a slowing industrial growth that dipped to the 18-month low of 2.7% for November.
The goverment has already adopted measures like export ban on onions to make the kitchen staple more affordable to masses. Further, the RBI in its third quarter monetary policy review on Tuesday hiked key policy rates by 25 basis points to scotch the inflationary pressures.
During the week under review, vegetable prices soared by 67.07% on an annual basis.
Onions went up by a huge 111.58% year-on-year, thus, showing that government initiatives like export ban were not proving sufficiently effective.
On an annual basis, prices of fruits went up by 16.40% while milk became expensive by 12.44%. Prices of egg, meat and fish went up by 13.58% year-on-year.
Cereal prices, too, went up marginally by 0.53%, with rice going up by 2.79%.
However, wheat and pulses became cheaper on annual basis by 5.75% and 14.07%, respectively.
In indication that spike in food commodities was becoming ingrained into the wider economy, in the non-food category, the prices of fibres and minerals were up by 47.23% and 19.52%, respectively.
Fuel and power also became dearer by 10.87 % year-on-year.
The headline inflation in December had risen to 8.43%, up from 7.48% in the previous month, mainly driven by costly food items.
At its quarterly review earlier this week, the RBI had revised its headline inflation estimate to 7 % by end of March, up from the earlier estimate of 5.5%.