Continuing its upward climb,food inflation has inched up to 17.97 per cent for the week ending February 6 compared with 17.94 recorded previous week. Although food inflation is tad higher than the previous week,the steady rise over the last four weeks elevates fears that we might breach all previous records.
Inflation will remain on the higher side till March or April. There is a possibility that food inflation might touch 20 per cent (highest level touched in December) by the end of this fiscal year. A lot depends on the Rabi crop production. We expect headline inflation to touch 9.25 per cent by the end of this fiscal, said Rupa Rege Nitsure,chief economist,Bank of Baroda.
While the top government officials have also aired their concerns and described the current rate of inflation as disturbing,no respite can be expected at least in the next couple of months.
Adequate measures have been taken by the government on the supply side. These will take some time to have the pressing impact on rising prices,particularly of essential commodities. I do hope that over a period of few months,it will be possible to have the moderate rate of inflation, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said on Wednesday.
During the week,the fuel price index rose an annual 9.89 per cent,down from a rise of 10.4 per cent on year the previous week. Prices of cereals went up 12 per cent and wheat by 15.7 per cent. Prices of vegetables are up by almost 20 per cent and fruits are up by almost 11 per cent.