Food inflation in double digits at 10.05 per cent

New Delhi: Food inflation crept back into double digits at 10.05 per cent for the week ended March 12, breaking a three-week long downward spiral, as prices of vegetables, fruits and protein-based items increased.

Food inflation stood at 9.42 per cent in the previous week. The latest rise marks the first time in a fortnight that food inflation has gone above a single-digit figure.

The latest surge in the rate of price rise of food items is likely to increase the worries of the government and the RBI, which have termed inflation control as a big challenge.

During the week under review, prices of vegetables went up by 11.20 per cent year-on-year. While potatoes became 2.82 per cent more expensive, onions became dearer by 10.80 per cent on an annual basis.

Prices of fruits soared by 23.60 per cent year-on-year, whereas egg, meat and fish became dearer by 13.21 per cent.

During the week under review, milk became 6.63 per cent costlier on an annual basis.

Cereals were up 4.45 per cent, while rice and wheat became dearer by 2.75 per cent and 2.15 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, inflation of non-food articles was up by 26.78 per cent year-on-year.

Mineral prices were up by 12.35 per cent during the week under review, while petrol became dearer by 23.14 per cent.

Headline inflation in the country has remained above 8 per cent since February, 2010. According to latest data, overall inflation in February this year was 8.31 per cent.

The RBI in its quarterly review on March 17 revised the March-end inflation forecast upward to 8 per cent from 7 per cent projected earlier.

The apex bank has hiked its short-term lending and borrowing rates eight times since March last year to tame the inflationary pressure.