New Delhi: With food inflation easing by over a percentage point during the week ended November 5, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said if the trend continues, "some relief" can be expected on the price front.

"At least on the food front, we may expect to have some relief if this trend continues," Mukherjee told reporters here.

His comments came after food inflation eased to 10.63 per cent for the week ended November 5 from 11.81 per cent in the previous week.

 "It (food inflation) is still in double digits, but on percentage points, it has come down," Mukherjee said.

As per data released by the government on Thursday, onions grew cheaper by 22.89 per cent year-on-year, while wheat prices were down by 3.63 per cent during the week ended November 5.

However, all other items became more expensive on an annual basis during the week under review.

While vegetables became 27.26 per cent costlier, pulses grew dearer by 14.44 per cent, milk by 10.74 per cent and eggs, meat and fish by 11.73 per cent.

Inflation in the overall primary articles category stood at 10.39 per cent during the week ended November 5, as against 11.43 per cent in the previous week.

Inflation in non-food articles, including fibres, oilseeds and minerals, was recorded at 5.33 per cent during the week under review, as against 6.41 per cent in the week ended October 29.

Fuel and power inflation stood at 15.49 per cent during the week ended November 5, as against 14.50 per cent in the previous week.

Food inflation eased to 10.63 percent

Food inflation eased to 10.63 percent for the week ended November 5 even as prices of agricultural items, barring onions and wheat, continued to rise on an annual basis.

Food inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 11.81 percent in the previous week ended October 29. The rate of price rise of food items stood at 11.41 percent in the corresponding week of the previous year.

As per data released by the government today, onions became cheaper by 22.89 percent year-on-year, while wheat price were down 3.63 percent.

However, all other items became more expensive on an annual basis during the week under review.

While vegetables became 27.26 percent costlier, pulses grew dearer by 14.44 percent, milk by 10.74 percent and eggs, meat and fish by 11.73 per cent.

Fruits also became 5.99 percent more expensive on an annual basis, while cereal prices were up 3.53 percent.

Inflation in the overall primary articles category stood at 10.39 percent during the week ended November 5, as against 11.43 percent in the previous week. Primary articles have over 20 percent weight in the wholesale price index.

Inflation in non-food articles, including fibres, oilseeds and minerals, was recorded at 5.33 percent during the week under review, as against 6.41 percent in the week ended October 29.

Fuel and power inflation stood at 15.49 percent during the week ended November 5, as compared to 14.50 percent in the previous week.

The continued rise in food prices is likely to exert further pressure on the government and the Reserve Bank to tackle the situation expeditiously.

Concerned over the inflationary spiral, the government had on Wednesday said it is taking steps to remove supply bottlenecks and expects prices to ease from December.

 "We are taking care to remove the supply constraints and I do hope from the month of December, inflation pressure wouldbe moderate," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said on Wednesday.

Headline inflation, which also factors in manufactured items, has been above the 9 percent-mark since December, 2010. It stood at 9.73 percent in September this year.

 The RBI has hiked interest rates 13 times since March, 2010, to tame demand and curb inflation.

In its second quarterly review of the monetary policy last month, the apex bank said it expects inflation to remain elevated till December on account of the demand-supply mismatch, before moderating to 7 per cent by March, 2012.

(JPN/Agencies)