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Inflation rises marginally to 8.31 %

New Delhi: Inflation rose marginally to 8.31 percent for the month ended February from 8.23 percent in the previous month, putting pressure on the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates when it reviews the monetary policy later this week.

The rise in inflation was mainly on account of higher milk, edible oil, vegetable and fruit prices. In addition, high fuel prices on account of soaring international crude oil rates also contributed to inflation.

With inflation showing no signs of moderation, it is widely expected that the RBI will raise key policy rates at its quarterly monetary policy review on January 25.

It may be recalled that food inflation, which accounts for over 14 percent of overall wholesale price index (WPI inflation, stood at 10.65 percent in February.

As per the WPI data, the prices of primary articles — food, non-food articles and minerals — shot up by 14.79 percent on an annual basis, official data released here showed.

However, prices of certain food items declined on a year-on-year basis.

While wheat became cheaper by 1.67 percent, pulses prices fell by 5.10 percent and rates for potatoes by 11.28 percent.

During the month, fuel and power prices went up by 11.19 percent, driven mainly by a 28.73 percent rise in petrol prices and a 14.99 percent jump in cooking gas (LPG) rates.

At the same time, the manufactured goods group index rose by 4.49 percent on an annual basis. Manufactured items have the highest weight of 64.9 percent in the WPI.

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