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Fuel prices stoke inflation to 2-year high

New Delhi, March 23 (PTI): Skyrocketing prices of domestic fuel pushed up the rate of inflation to a two-year high of 5.13 per cent for the week ended March 8 against a mere 1.76 per cent in the year-ago period.

Belying the Reserve Bank’s hopes of “benign inflation”, the wholesale price index (WPI) rose by 0.44 per cent from the 4.69 per cent a week ago, due to a 2 per cent increase in the price of fuel, power, light and lubricants and a marginal, but effective rise in primary items.

With only a few days to close the fiscal, the WPI inflation had breached the 5 per cent-mark twice, raising concerns for policy planners. Apparently showing the real effects of the budget, the WPI rose by 0.4 per cent to 170.2, despite heavy-weighted manufactured products’ prices keeping cool, though prices of fuel kept rising off and on.

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