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Wayward crude prices push WPI inflation to 14.55% in March

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Wayward crude prices push WPI inflation to 14.55% in March
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New Delhi: The constant rise of crude oil caused wholesale price-based inflation to go up to a four-month high of 14.55 per cent in March, according to government data released on Monday.

Despite the vegetable prices easing, the WPI inflation has remained in double digits for the 12th consecutive month beginning April 2021.

The last time such a level of WPI was recorded was in November 2021, when inflation was 14.87 per cent. WPI Inflation in February was at 13.11 per cent, while in March last year, it was 7.89 per cent. During the month, inflation in food articles eased to 8.06 per cent, from 8.19 per cent in February. Vegetable inflation was 19.88 per cent, against 26.93 per cent in February.

"The high rate of inflation in March 2022 is primarily due to rise in prices of crude petroleum and natural gas, mineral oils, basic metals, etc owing to disruption in the global supply chain caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict," the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.

Inflation in manufactured items was 10.71 per cent in March, against 9.84 per cent in February.

In the fuel and power basket, the rate of price rise was 34.52 per cent during the month.

Inflation in crude petroleum spiked to 83.56 per cent in March, from 55.17 per cent during February.

Retail inflation spiked to 6.95 per cent in March -- the third consecutive month that the consumer price index has breached the RBI's tolerance limit of 6 per cent, data released last week showed.

The Reserve Bank earlier this month kept its key repo rate -- at which it lends short-term money to banks -- unchanged for the 11th time in a row at 4 per cent, to support growth.

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