New Delhi: Food inflation is back in double digits after a gap of a month-and-a-half and stood at 10.60 percent for the week ending October 8 on the back of costlier vegetables, fruits, milk and protein-based items.

Food inflation, as measured by Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 9.32 percent in the previous week. The rate of price rise of food items stood at 15.72 percent in the corresponding week of 2010.

As per data released by the government on Thursday, vegetables became 17.59 percent more expensive year-on-year during the week ended October 8. Fruits grew dearer by 12.39 percent, milk by 10.80 percent and eggs, meat and fish by 14.10 percent on an annual basis.

Pulses also became dearer by 7.42 percent and cereal prices were up 4.73 percent year-on-year.

Food inflation had previously crossed the double-digit mark in the week ended August 20.

Inflation in overall primary articles stood at 11.18 percent for the week ended October 8, compared to 10.60 percent in the previous week. Primary articles have a share of over 20 percent in the WPI.

Inflation in non-food articles, including fibres, oil seeds and minerals, was recorded at 8.51 percent during the week under review, as against 9.59 percent in the week ended October 1.

Fuel and power inflation stood at 15.17 percent in the week under review, compared to 15.10 percent in the previous week.

The upsurge in food prices in likely to exert further pressure on the government and the Reserve Bank to tackle the situation expeditiously, according to experts.

Headline inflation, which also factors in manufactured items, has been hovering above the 9 percent mark since December, 2010. It stood at 9.72 percent in September this year.

The RBI has already hiked interest rates 12 times, by a total of 350 basis points, since March, 2010, to tame demand and curb inflation.

The apex bank is scheduled to announce its second quarterly review of the monetary policy on October 25 and experts have said that another rate hike is expected, despite the slowdown in industrial growth.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee blamed high global commodity prices and supply constraints for stubbornly high inflation. He, however, exuded confidence that inflation will moderate to around 7 percent by March, 2012.

(Agencies)