Food Costs Drive Up Inflation, Odds Of Rbi Rate Hike Rise

Food Stamp Debit Cards Failing To Work In 17 States

The wholesale price index (WPI), the main inflation measure, climbed to 6.46 percent last month – its fastest rate since February – pushed up by food prices such as a 322 percent jump in onion prices, government data showed on Monday. Worries over high inflation led new RBI chief Raghuram Rajan to surprise markets last month with an interest rate hike. Many analysts now expect him to raise interest rates by another 25 basis points on October 29, even after data showing economic growth in the June quarter hit a four-year low. “The pickup in inflation is testament to the lingering inflation risks and underscores the need for the RBI to keep its inflation guards up,” said Leif Lybecker Eskesen, Chief Economist for India & ASEAN at HSBC in a note. Federal bond yields posted their biggest advance in three weeks after the data firmed up expectations for a second consecutive rate hike in as many months. The benchmark 10-year government bond yield ended up 8 basis points on the day at 8.57 percent, its highest since September 23. Other data showed consumer prices rose 9.84 percent year-on-year in September, the fastest pace in three months. Economists in a Reuters poll last week had forecast an annual 9.60 percent rise in retail prices. India is not the only major emerging market wrestling with inflation and high food costs – China’s consumer inflation hit a seven-month high of 3.1 percent in September. But the pace of growth in food prices in India stood out, rising to an annual 18.40 percent last month, the fastest clip since July 2010 and triple the 6.1 percent rise seen in China. Inflation data comes on the heels of Friday’s disappointing industrial output numbers. Output grew a much-slower-than expected 0.6 percent in August, hurt by weak investment and consumer demand, dashing hopes of an economic rebound by the end of the year.

Food for Free benefit set for Oct. 25 in Cambridge

4, 2010, an Electronic benefit Transfer card, food stamp recipients use to purchase food, is seen at the Sacramento County Economic Development Department in Sacramento, Calif. Currently food stamp recipients who would like to shop at local farmer’s markets have had problems because many of them do not accept the EBT Cards they use to buy groceries. A bill currently in the legislature would change that by helping farmers markets overcome bureaucratic hurdles | AP Get Business Newsletters: Subscribe Follow: SNAP Program , U.S. Department Of Agriculture , Food Stamps , Food Stamps Cards , Food Stamps Debit Cards , Snap Debit Cards , Usda , Business News — People in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards on Saturday, after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. Xerox announced late in the evening that access has been restored for users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first problems were reported. “Restarting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality,” spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email. An emergency voucher process was available in some of the areas while the problems were occurring, she said. U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage was not related to the government shutdown. Earlier Saturday shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn’t get their benefits, said shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine. The manager put up a sign saying the EBT system was not in use. Colman, who receives the benefits, called an 800 telephone line for the program and it said the system was down due to maintenance, she said.

Special guests include Ray Magliozzi, Doug Berman and John Bugsy Lawlor of Car Talk; Robin Young of Here and Now; Louisa Denison, food literacy project coordinator at Harvard University; and Peter Ward, Central and Davis farmers markets manager. Rick Jenkins, Comedy Studio owner/manager, will be the master of ceremonies and One Thin Dime will provide entertainment. There will also be a silent auction. Items can be viewed at www.foodforfree.org/silent-auction-preview-2013. Tickets are $60 and are available online at www.foodforfree.org. Proceeds support Food For Frees Produce Rescue Program, the largest program and heart of the Cambridge-based nonprofits work. Food For Free offices are at 11 Inman St. To learn more about Food For Free and see a list of Party Under the Harvest Moon sponsors, food and auction donors, visit www.foodforfree.org. The annual Party Under the Harvest Moon, a fundraiser to benefit Food for Free, will be held Friday, Oct. 25, 6-10 p.m., in MITs Morss Hall, Walker Memorial Building, 142 Memorial Drive. Special guests include Ray Magliozzi, Doug Berman and John Bugsy Lawlor of Car Talk; Robin Young of Here and Now; Louisa Denison, food literacy project coordinator at Harvard University; and Peter Ward, Central and Davis farmers markets manager. Rick Jenkins, Comedy Studio owner/manager, will be the master of ceremonies and One Thin Dime will provide entertainment. There will also be a silent auction. Items can be viewed at www.foodforfree.org/silent-auction-preview-2013.