New Delhi: Food inflation inched up marginally to 8.76 percent for the week ended April 16 on the back of rising prices of fruits, protein-based items and onions.
Food inflation stood at 8.74 percent in the previous week. This is the second consecutive week when the rate of price rise of food items has gone up after a period of moderation in February and March.
The latest rise, although marginal, will put more pressure on the government, which has described inflation as one of the major challenges facing the economy.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern about rising prices, especially of food items, and said the country needs to do more for ensuring the food security of its citizens.
During the week under review, fruits became dearer by 28.43 percent year-on-year, while egg, meat and fish prices went up by 12.14 percent.
Onions became more expensive by 10.96 percent on an annual basis. Milk also became dearer by 5.10 percent.
Similarly, cereal prices went up by 4.49 percent, while rice and wheat became dearer by 2.08 percent and 0.48 percent, respectively.
However, pulses bucked the trend and witnessed a decline of 6.49 percent in their wholesale prices. Overall, vegetable prices were down by 0.21 percent and potatoes by 1.61 percent.
Meanwhile, during the week under review, prices of non-food articles were up by 26.48 percent year-on-year. Fuel and power became dearer by 13.53 percent, while petrol was up 21.81 percent.
Food inflation stayed in high numbers for most of 2010 and early 2011 and was the major contributor to headline inflation, which has been above 8 percent since February, 2010.
Headline inflation stood at 8.98 percent in March, way above the government`s projection of 8 percent.
The government and RBI have exuded confidence that with a record harvest of wheat and pulses, the trend of increase in prices of food items would be reversed.
However, after the slight moderation of February and March, food inflation numbers have again started moving upward and experts say this could be a major issue for the government at a time when non-food core inflation has also shown signs of going up.