India's food inflation jumps

Nov. 3, 2011 at 7:41 AM

NEW DELHI, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- India's food inflation, which hits millions of poor families the hardest, soared to 12.21 percent year-on-year for the week ended Oct. 22, the government said.

The weekly numbers as measured by the wholesale price index, announced Thursday, was the third straight week of such increases and the highest in nine months, blamed largely on rising prices of vegetables, milk and meat. The index rose 11.43 percent year-on-year the previous week.

Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee called the latest numbers a matter of "grave concern," while attributing them to rising demand during the ongoing festival season, the Press Trust of India reported.

India's headline or overall inflation has remained high for nearly two years, topping 9 percent in September. The country's central bank has hiked interest rates 13 times since March 2010.

Inflation is expected to moderate to 7 percent by March.

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