New Delhi: After declining for four consecutive months, inflation rose marginally to 6.84 percent in February as food items such as rice, wheat, onions and fruits became costlier.
     
Inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) had stood at 6.62 percent in January. In February, 2012, it was 7.56 percent. The upward pressure on inflation may make it harder for the Reserve Bank to lower interest rates. It had projected March-end inflation at 6.8 percent.

Ahead of the monetary policy review next week, RBI Governor D Subbarao said that inflation reading of above 6 percent demands tightening of the policy stance. Meanwhile, as per official data released on Thursday the rate of price rise in the manufactured items category witnessed a slight decline at 4.51 percent last month.

Product January February
Onions 111.52 154.33
Potato 79 45.99
Rice 17.31 18.84
Vegetables 12.11 28.45
Pulses 16.89 14.96
Egg, meat and fish -- 12.85
Milk -- 4.57
Fruits -- 8.93
Fuel and power 7.06 10.47

Overall, inflation rate in food articles category, which has a 14.34 percent share in the WPI basket, too witnessed a decline at 11.38 percent. Inflation in the food articles category was at 11.88 percent in January. Onions were costlier by 154.33 percent for the month of February, as against the inflation rate of 111.52 percent in January.
     
Rice became costlier by 18.84 percent in February, as against 17.31 percent in the previous month. However, inflation in vegetables was at 12.11 percent, from 28.45 percent in January. Inflation rate in wheat and cereals stood at 21.63 percent and 19.19 percent respectively in February.
     
Potato and pulses prices declined by 45.99 percent and 14.96 percent, from 79 percent and 16.89 percent respectively in January 2013. While the inflation rate in egg, meat and fish category stood at 12.85 percent, for milk it was up 4.57 percent. Fruits were costlier by 8.93 percent.
     
For the fuel and power category, it was up by 10.47 percent in February, compared to 7.06 percent in January 2013.

(JPN/Agencies)

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