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Inflation slips to 6.89 pc in Mar

New Delhi: The overall inflation in March eased to 6.89 per cent on account of sharp decline in prices of onions, fruits and protein-based items, even as vegetables and pulses turned costlier.

Inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was 6.95 per cent in February. In March last year, it was 9.68 per cent.

As per the official data released today, inflation in food items was 9.94 per cent in March, as against 6.07 per cent in February. Onion prices declined by (-)24.23 per cent in March. The rate of decline was (-)48.50 per cent in February.

Besides, eggs, meat and fish prices rose 17.71 per cent during the month, lower from 20 per cent in February.

Pulses turned expensive by 10.05 per cent and vegetables by 30.57 per cent during March. In February, the rate of price rise in vegetables was 1.52 per cent.

Milk became expensive by 15.29 per cent, while rice and cereals turned costlier by 4.73 per cent and 4.41 per cent respectively. Prices of potato too rose by 11.60 per cent.

Food articles have 14.3 per cent share in the WPI basket. The manufactured goods showed moderation in inflation to 4.87 per cent, from 5.75 per cent. This may have a bearing on the annual monetary policy to be announced by the Reserve bank tomorrow.

The inflation number for March remained marginally above the projections made by Finance Ministry, which had expected it to be around 6.5 per cent. The headline inflation number for January was revised upwards to 6.89 per cent, up from the provisional estimate of 6.55 per cent.

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