New Delhi: With inflation reversing the declining trend of the past five months, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said there is inflationary pressure, but expressed the hope that the rate of price rise will come down to 6.5 percent by March-end.
    
He said although inflation in the manufactured goods is above 5 percent, there has been some easing. Manufactured items have a weight of around 65 percent in the WPI basket
    
"I do hope if this trend continues then we will end the year with around 6.5 percent (inflation)...," Mukherjee told reporters here.
    
Driven by a sharp increase in food prices, especially vegetables and protein-based items, overall inflation rose to 6.95 percent in February.
    
Inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was 6.55 percent in January.
    
"Food inflation particularly has gone from negative to 6 per cent plus... primary food articles there has been sharp increase," Mukherjee said.
    
As per the official data released today, food inflation was 6.07 percent in February against (-) 0.52 percent in January.
    
Pulses turned expensive by 7.91 percent and vegetables by 1.52 percent during February. Prices of vegetables had declined by 43.13 percent in January.

(Agencies)