Food inflation falls; vegetables still costly

NEW Delhi, January 13 (PTI): Snapping the five week rising trend, food inflation softened to 16.91% for the week ended January 1, 2011, although vegetables, onions and protein-based items continued to remained costly. Food inflation fell by 1.41 percentage points from 18.32% recorded in the previous reporting week. Even as the index of food inflation showed a meagre decline, vegetable prices soared by 70.73% on an annual basis in the wholesale market, official data showed.
Also onions continued to pinch the pocket of the common man as the prices went up by 70.70% on a year on year basis. Among the individual items in the food inflation index, egg, meat and fish became costly by 16.70%, milk by 13.20% and fruits by 17.71% annually. However, prices of pulses declined by 14.84%, wheat by 4.87%, potatoes by 1.67% and cereals by 0.12% on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, in the non-food category, the prices of fibres and minerals have climbed up by 36.71% and 16.70%, respectively. Food inflation has remained high for the entire month of December. The rising food prices will get reflected in the monthly inflation data for December, scheduled to be announced tomorrow. The headline inflation in November had come down to 7.48% from 8.58% a month ago.