Food inflation witnessed a sharp moderation to 8 per cent for the week ended November 19, though prices of most agricultural items, barring potatoes, onions and wheat, continued to rise on an annual basis.
Food inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was 9.01 per cent in the previous week ended November 12
. It stood at 9.03 per cent in the corresponding week of the previous year.
According to data released by the government on Thursday, onions became cheaper by 40.65 per cent year-on-year during the week under review, while potato prices were down by 10.98 per cent. Price of wheat also fell by 4.71 per cent.
However, all other food items grew more expensive on an annual basis.Decline in inflation to continue: Pranab
Pulses became 13.80 per cent costlier during the week ended November 19, while milk grew dearer by 11.41 per cent and eggs, meat and fish by 13.55 per cent.
Vegetable prices were up by 5.13 per cent year-on-year.
However, this marked a substantial slowdown in the inflation rate in comparison to the past few months, when prices of vegetables had witnessed double-digit growth.
Fruits also became 7.98 per cent more expensive on an annual basis, while cereal prices were up 1.97 per cent.Food inflation sign of growing prosperity: PM
Inflation in the overall primary articles category stood at 7.74 per cent during the week ended November 19, as against 9.08 per cent in the previous week. Primary articles have over 20 per cent weight in the wholesale price index.
Inflation in non-food articles, which includes fibres, oilseeds and minerals, was recorded at 2.14 per cent during the week under review, as against 4.05 per cent in the week ended November 12. .
The rate of price rise in non-food primary articles has fallen sharply during the past couple of months, from over 8 per cent to nearly 2 per cent in the week ended November 19.
Fuel and power inflation stood at 15.53 per cent during the week under review, compared to 15.49 per cent in the previous week.
The decline in the rate of price rise in food items is likely to bring some relief to the government and the Reserve Bank, which have been facing flak from all quarters for persistently high prices.
It also comes as a silver lining at a time when economic growth fell to 6.9 per cent in the second quarter, the lowest in over two years.
The eight key infrastructure industries witnessed dismal growth of 0.1 per cent in October, the lowest in the past five years.
The government had said steps were being taken to remove supply bottlenecks and expected prices to ease from December.Headline inflation
, which also factors in manufactured items, has been above the 9 per cent-mark since December, 2010. It stood at 9.73 per cent in October this year.
The RBI has hiked interest rates 13 times since March, 2010, to tame demand and curb inflation
In its second quarterly review of the monetary policy last month, the central bank had said it expected inflation to remain elevated till December on account of the demand-supply mismatch, before moderating to 7 per cent by March, 2012.