Inflation rose marginally to 8.31 per cent for the month ended February from 8.23 per cent in the previous month, putting pressure on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) 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 RBI will raise key policy rates at its quarterly monetary policy review on March 17.
It may be recalled that food inflation, which accounts for over 14 per cent of overall wholesale price index (WPI) inflation, stood at 10.65 per cent in February.
According to the WPI data, the prices of primary articles - food, non-food articles and minerals - shot up by 14.79 per cent on an annual basis, official data released in the national capital showed.
However, prices of certain food items declined on a year-on-year basis.
While wheat became cheaper by 1.67 per cent, pulses fell 5.10 per cent and rates for potatoes by 11.28 per cent.
During the month, fuel and power prices went up by 11.19 per cent, driven mainly by a 28.73 per cent rise in petrol prices and a 14.99 per cent jump in cooking gas (LPG) rates.
At the same time, the manufactured goods group index rose by 4.49 per cent on an annual basis. Manufactured items have the highest weight of 64.9 per cent in the WPI.