Food inflation hits 15.46 pc

 Common man continues to reel under rising prices of essential commodities as food inflation moved up for the fourth consecutive week to 15.46 per cent in the week ending September 11, putting pressure on overall inflation.

The current surge in food inflation is primarily due to rise in prices of key items like cereals and vegetables. Analysts say the ongoing rise is due to disruptions in supply chain brought about by heavy rains in many parts of the country.

According to them, though a strong monsoon has brightened the prospects of a good crop this year and a consequent reduction in rising prices of food items, the pressure on food inflation will continue till the arrival of new crop. And the new harvest will not reach the market until around October-November this year. Adding to the pressure on food prices are the floods that has hit the supply chain in several parts of the country and the festive season over the next few months when demand for food supply will be high.

Food inflation has been rising for the last four weeks and analysis of inflation data shows that week-on-week, it rose by 0.36 percentage points from 15.10 per cent on September 4. On an year-to-year basis, cereals prices rose 6.75 per cent, primarily due to higher prices of pulses, rice and wheat.

The index for primary articles, of which food prices are a part, also rose for the fifth consecutive week. The index was up 0.2 per cent at 178.7 in the week ending September 11 from a provisional 178.4 the previous week.

Signs of moderation in food inflation had surfaced in July, which continued all through the first half of August. But the current surge in food inflation has hiked fears of added pressure on overall inflation.

As per the new Wholesale Price Index series, overall inflation stands at 8.51 per cent in August this year.

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