New Delhi (JPN/Bureau): Food inflation plummeted to a two-month low of 11.05 per cent for the week ended February 5, riding on the slide of onion price among that of other vegetables, prompting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to assert that the rate of price rise will fall to a single digit in some time. 

Dropping further for for second week to 11.05 per cent from 13.07 per cent in the previous week, Food inflation fell by 2.02 percentage points, as prices of pulses, wheat and potato declined.

 "... In quite some time, food inflation will also be under single digit," Mukherjee said, adding that headline inflation will moderate to 7 per cent by March-end from 8.23 per cent in January.

Driven by high vegetable prices, food inflation has been in double digits for the past two months and had even crossed 18 per cent in the last week of December.

On an annual basis, prices of potatoes declined by 13.63 per cent, pulses by 5.88 per cent and wheat by 2.54 per cent in the week ended February 5.

The spike in food prices, especially during December and January, has become a cause of concern for the government and it has taken several measures to tame it.

Experts vary on price rise

A Group of Ministers (GoM) on Food, headed by Mukherjee, met on Thursday to take stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, the decline in food inflation for the past two weeks prompted Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to say the trend would continue.

Other economists, however, said while there would be further moderation in vegetable prices, overall food inflation will remain in double digits in this month.

FM cautions

The Finance Minister also sounded cautioned that a weekly decline in food inflation could be "deceptive". He, however, expects wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation to come down to 7 per cent by March-end.

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