New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI): Inflation based on wholesale prices declined marginally to 7.18 per cent in December even though rates of food items such as rice, wheat, pulses and potato moved up.
The wholesale price index (WPI) was 7.24 per cent in November and 7.32 per cent in October. It was 7.74 per cent in December 2011.
The Reserve Bank of India is scheduled to meet on January 29 for a policy review.
Food inflation, as a category, rose to 11.16 per cent in December against 8.50 per cent in the previous month. Food articles have a 14.3 per cent share in the WPI basket.
While wheat prices were up 23.23 per cent in December against 23.19 per cent in November, rice became dearer by 17.10 per cent from 11.80 per cent.
Potatoes were costlier by 89.08 per cent and onion by 69.24 per cent.
Milk prices declined by 5.85 per cent, while fruits were down by 5.76 per cent.
Eggs, fish and meat prices too moderated to 10.18 per cent compared to 14.19 per cent in the previous month.
For the fuel and power category, inflation was 9.38 per cent compared to 10.02 per cent in November.
The rate of price rise in the manufactured products moderated to 5.04 per cent in December as against 5.41 per cent in the previous month.
Inflation for October was revised downwards to 7.32 per cent from provisional figure of 7.45 per cent.
Retail inflation in December crossed double digits to reach 10.56 per cent, driven by higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, pulses and cereal.
Industrial output growth rate had contracted by 0.1 per cent in November, from a robust 8.3 per cent in October.
Concerned over the persistent inflation, the RBI has kept key interest rates unchanged since April 2012.
The repo rate, at which RBI lends to the banks, has been retained at 8 per cent, while the reverse repo, at which RBI absorbs excess liquidity through borrowings from banks, is at 7 per cent.