High prices of vegetables and manufactured items drove the headline inflation in March to 8.98 per cent, way above the RBI’s expectation of 8 per cent.
The overall inflation measured on the basis of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was 8.31 per cent in February.
The rise in overall inflation for the second month in a row may prompt the central bank to go for another round of policy rate hikes in its policy review meeting, scheduled for May 3.
As per the official data released today, the high inflation was on account of rising prices of manufactured items, milk, vegetable and fruits. In addition, high fuel costs due to spiralling international crude oil prices also contributed to the phenomenon.
Besides, food inflation, which accounts for nearly 15 per cent of overall WPI inflation, stood at 8.28 per cent for the week ended April 2.