Food inflation in double digits at 10.05 p.c.

New Delhi, March 24 (PTI): Food inflation crept back into double digits at 10.05% for the week ended March 12, breaking a 3-week long downward spiral, as prices of vegetables, fruits and protein-based items increased. Food inflation stood at 9.42%t in the previous week. The latest rise marks the first time in a fortnight that food inflation has gone above a single-digit figure. The latest surge in the rate of price rise of food items is likely to increase the worries of the government and the RBI, which have termed inflation control as a big challenge.
During the week under review, prices of vegetables went up by 11.20%t year-on-year. While potatoes became 2.82%t more expensive, onions became dearer by 10.80% on an annual basis. Prices of fruits soared by 23.60% year-on-year, whereas egg, meat and fish became dearer by 13.21%. During the week under review, milk became 6.63% costlier on an annual basis. Cereals were up 4.45%, while rice and wheat became dearer by 2.75% and 2.15%, respectively. Meanwhile, inflation of non-food articles was up by 26.78% year-on-year.
Mineral prices were up by 12.35% during the week under review, while petrol became dearer by 23.14%. Headline inflation in the country has remained above 8% since February, 2010. According to latest data, overall inflation in February this year was 8.31%. The RBI in its quarterly review on March 17 revised the March-end inflation forecast upward to 8% from 7% projected earlier. The apex bank has hiked its short-term lending and borrowing rates 8 times since March last year to tame the inflationary pressure.