New Delhi, Jan 13 (Agencies): In a relief for Government, India's annual food inflation for the week ended January 1 fell to 16.91 per cent, compared to 18.32 per cent in the previous week.

After five straight weeks of rise in food inflation rate, based on wholesale prices, the fall in the index was because of some tempering in prices of onions, from the peak of Rs 70 per kg.

The prices of other essential commodities like pulses and food grains too came down, according to data made available by the commerce and industry ministry. 

According to Thursday's data, the 52-week inflation rate for non-food articles slipped to 20.49 per cent for the week ended January 1, compared to 22.4 per cent in the previous week.

The inflation rate for primary articles also dipped to 17.58 per cent in the week under review, compared to 20.2 per cent in the earlier week.  

The index for fuels was almost unchanged at 11.53 per cent, compared to 11.63 per cent in the previous week. 

The Government is expected to announce measures to combat rising food prices on Thursday. These include withdrawing some decisions like export of 500,000 tonnes of sugar and hiking the prices of wheat and rice sold through the public distribution system to families above the poverty line.  

If these measure work and food inflation, which is feared to spread to non-food items as well, comes down then the Reserve Bank of India will not be forced to raise key interest rates- a major worry of India Inc.