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Retail inflation declines to 10.39% in March

NEW DELHI: Retail inflation declined to 10.39 per cent in March, snapping the five month rising trend, as prices of vegetables and protein based items eased. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation was at 10.91 per cent in February. The inflation, however, continued to remain in the double digit terrain for the fourth consecutive month in March. 

The prices in the vegetables basket eased to 12.16 per cent in March. It was 21.29 per cent in February. 

Inflation in protein-based items -- egg, meat and fish -- stood at 14.36 per cent during the month. In oils and fats segment, it stood at 11.72 per cent. 

Among all the constituents that make the CPI, cereals recorded the highest inflation of 17.55 per cent in March, according to data released today. 

Besides, inflation in pulses stood at 11.38 per cent and in sugar it was 11.65 per cent on an annual basis. 

The rate of price rise in clothing and footwear segment stood at 10.64 per cent during the month. 

In urban areas, retail inflation declined to 10.38 per cent in March from 10.84 per cent in the previous month. The CPI for rural population fell to 10.33 per cent during the month from 11.01 per cent in February. 

The data for wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation is expected on Monday. The WPI figures for February stood at 6.84 per cent, much higher than RBI's comfort level of 5-6 per cent. 

Meanwhile, industrial output growth in February stood at a meagre 0.6 per cent in February, compared to a growth of 4.3 per cent in the same month last year. 

The RBI will take into account the double digit retail inflation and slowdown in factory output while formulating its annual monetary policy, which is scheduled on May 3.