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Costlier Food Items Push Inflation Higher at 5.7% in March

Published: 15th April 2014 05:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th April 2014 05:25 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

Snapping the declining trend, the inflation rose to a three month high of 5.7 per cent in March mainly due to spurt in prices of food items like potato, onion and fruits.

The inflation in the food items, based on the wholesale price index (WPI), shot up by 9.9 per cent in March as against 8.12 per cent in the previous month.

The overall WPI inflation, which was on decline since December, had dropped to a nine-month low of 4.68 per cent in February.

As per the data released by the government today, the January inflation number has been revised upward to 5.17 per cent as against earlier estimate of 5.05 per cent.

In March, price rise in potato was 27.83 per cent as against 8.36 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in onion was 1.92 in the last month of 2013-14 fiscal compared to contraction in price of the kitchen staple in the previous month.

Overall the inflation in vegetable segment was 8.57 per cent as compared to about 4 per cent in February. Fruits were costlier by 16.15 per cent in March compared to 9.92 per cent.

The government further said the build up of inflation rate in the 2013-14 financial year was 5.70 compared to a build up rate of 5.65 per cent in the earlier fiscal.

The data further revealed that prices of sugar, pulses, cereals, cement and minerals eased in March compared to the previous month.

Inflation in the fuel and power category (LPG, petrol and diesel) rose to 11.22 per cent versus 8.75 per cent in February.

Later in the day, government is also scheduled to release data for retail inflation calculated on Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In the monetary policy review earlier this month, the Reserve Bank had retained the key interest rate expecting rise in inflationary expectations.

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