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WPI soars to 39-mth high of 6.55%, retail inflation too rises

WPI soars to 39-mth high of 6.55%, retail inflation too rises
Wholesale inflation soared to a 39-month high of 6.55 per cent in February and retail inflation inched up to 3.65 per cent due to rise in food and fuel prices, justifying the RBI's move to hold rates in last policy meet.

However, the prices of vegetables and pulses remained subdued during the month, giving some relief to consumers, showed the data released by the government on Tuesday.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation in January was at 5.25 per cent, while the consumer inflation stood at 3.17 per cent. The rising inflation is likely to refrain the Reserve Bank from cutting interest rates in its next monetary policy review on April 6.

According to the WPI data, food inflation witnessed a sharp 2.69 per cent rise in February, while the fuel basket surged by 21.02 per cent.

Although the inflation rates of cereals, rice and fruits witnessed an increase, vegetables prices declined by 8.05 per cent during February. The December WPI inflation rate was revised upwards to 3.68 per cent from the previous 3.39 per cent. As regards the CPI, it rose to a 4-month high of 3.65 per cent in February.

Govt procures 14.6 lakh tonnes of pulses for buffer stock

India has procured or contracted for imports about 14.66 lakh tonnes of pulses to create a buffer stock, Parliament was informed on Tuesday. "The government has approved creation of buffer up to 20 lakh tonnes of pulses. As on March 8, 2017, around 14.66 lakh tonnes of pulses have been procured or contracted for imports towards building the buffer," Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs C R Chaudhary said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
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