FM: Food inflation will come down to single digit

New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday expressed optimism of food inflation coming down to single digit as the rate of price rise of essential kitchen items moderated significantly in the first week of February.

"…in quite some time food inflation will also be under single digit," Mukherjee told reporters here.

Driven by high vegetable prices, the food inflation is in double digit for the past two months and even crossed 18 per cent in the last week of December 25.

"Now it is going down and I think WPI (wholesale price index) has also come down by 2 percentage point. So it is good sign…," Mukherjee added.

The food inflation for the week ended February 5 touched a nine week low at 11.05 per cent from 13.07 per cent in the previous week.

However, Mukherjee cautioned that weekly and monthly fluctuations in inflation numbers "are always deceptive".

He, further said that despite seasonal fluctuations in inflation figures, the overall inflation ending March 2011 would be in the range of 7 per cent.

"I hope as I mentioned earlier, by March we able to reach overall inflation of 7 per cent," he said.

The headline inflation measured on WPI has also moderated to 8.23 per cent in January from 8.43 per cent in the previous month.