India’s Wealth Drives Up Food Costs


India’s growing middle class doesn’t just demand luxuries like TVs and cars. The subcontinent has grown wealthier in recent years, and richer people tend to eat better — driving up food prices, The Wall Street Journal reports.

During the week ending November 5, food cost 10.8 percent more than during the same period in 2010. Just a week before that, officials recorded an 11.18 percent increase compared with the previous year, according to the paper.

The reason? Analysts say that more and more Indians want to eat protein-rich products, such as dairy, meat, and fish. These items cost far more to produce than grains.

The upswing has put immense pressure on the nation’s central bank: Higher food prices threaten to devalue the rupee.

Finance officials expect the trend to slow by January, when summer crops hit wholesalers, the Journal notes.