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India's inflation hits 5-year high on soaring vegetable prices

Food costs on the rise even as growth slows, compounding problems for Modi

With onion prices surging to more than double their usual levels, Indian consumers are turning to alternative ingredients.

NEW DELHI -- Consumer prices in India rose at the fastest pace in nearly five and a half years last month as poor harvests drove prices of such staples as onions and beans, raising the specter of stagnation amid slowing economic growth.

The consumer price index rose 7.4% on the year in December, government data released Monday shows.Shortages stemming from unfavorable weather in the summer are a major culprit, helping to drive growth in the consumer food price index to 14%.

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