Inflation at the wholesale level cooled to 5.7% in March on declining fuel prices and appreciating rupee even as food prices hardened. According to the official data released on Monday, food prices saw an aculeate rise of 3.12% last month as compared to 2.69% in February.
Based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), inflation was at 6.55% in February, Whereas In March 2016, it stood at (-)0.45%.
This was primarily because of a big jump in vegetable prices where inflation stood at 5.70%. As for fruits, the figure was also high at 7.62%, while for eggs, meat and fish, it was 3.12%.
Manufactured items witnessed some softening in the rate of price rise, with inflation at 2.99% in March, as against 3.66% in the previous month. Fuel inflation declined to 18.16%, from 21.02% in February.
International oil prices dipped in a month's time to USD 49 per barrel from USD 55, reflecting in a Rs 3.77 per litre cut in petrol price and Rs 2.91 in diesel. Rates have since climbed to USD 54 per barrel.
The rupee which was at 66.7 to a dollar in February end strengthened to 64.85 to a dollar.