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Higher food prices push inflation to 9.73 percent

Monday November 14, 2011 03:03:50 PM, IANS

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High food inflation due to change in food habits?

High food inflation, which has reached 12 percent, continues to baffle economists and policymakers alike. But is it really due to a change in the food habits of people -- a demand for more vegetables, eggs and milk, as both the prime minister  

New Delhi: A rise in prices of food articles, notably lentils, rice, milk, condiments, fruits and vegetables marginally pushed India's annual rate of inflation to 9.73 percent for October from 9.72 percent in the previous month.

According to latest data on the wholesale price index released by the commerce ministry, the rise was spread across commodity groups. Primary articles registered an inflation rate of 11.4 percent, fuels were up 14.79 percent and factory goods 7.66 percent.

The high inflation rate has been a cause for concern both for the Reserve Bank of India and the government, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh terming it a "worrisome" problem. "I do not deny it particularly with regard to food prices," he said last week.

"Foodgrain prices are stable. But the prices of vegetables and that of tertiary goods are going up. The demand is growing on a much faster rate on the supply curve. "One reason why inflation has become a problem is due to the prices of fuel products," the prime minister said.

Following is the inflation rate for key commodities for October, as per latest data:

* Food Articles 11.06

* Cereals 4.56

* Rice 4.56

* Wheat (-)0.95

* Pulses 9.63

* Vegetables 21.76

* Potato 1.30

* Onion (-)16.16

* Fruits 11.96

* Milk 11.12

* Eggs, Meat and Fish 12.59

* Non-Food Articles 17.71

* Fuel and Power 14.79

* Liquefied petroleum gas 14.27

* Petrol 27.90

* High speed diesel 9.32

* Manufactyured Products 7.66

* Food Products 7.80

* Sugar 6.69

* Edible Oils 13.09

* Beverages, Tobacco and Tobacco Products 12.53

* Cotton Textiles 10.80

* Man-made Textiles 7.17







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