While food price inflation stood at 2.8% compared with 3.26% in February, prices of pulses fell 13.4% in March year-on-year.
The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 month period ending March 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 month period was 15.60 percent, showing 0.33 percent point lower from 15.93 percent recorded in February 2018, it said. Inflation in the vegetables segment cooled to 11.7% in March from 17.57% in February.
Moreover, the latest inflation was the highest since October 2012, when prices had risen 1.9%.
Food price inflation stood at 2.8% compared to 3.26% in February.
Among non-food categories, the "fuel and light" segment's inflation rate accelerated to 5.73 per cent in March.
India's consumer price index rose 4.28% in March from a year earlier, data released by the Ministry of Statistics showed on Thursday. March's data is an indication that prices are at a safe distance from the apex bank's upper tolerance level of inflation at 6 per cent.
"Inflation will rise because of elections spending, expectations of a rise in U.S, interest rates, and expectations of a minimum-wage increase, probably in the second half of the year", he said by phone. The figure for February was 4.4%.
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In terms of industrial production, the CSO data revealed that the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) marginally declined in February to 7.13 per cent from a rise of 7.39 per cent in January 2018 and a mere growth of 1.2 per cent in the corresponding period of a year ago.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) maintained a neutral stance in last week's monetary policy review, citing the still lurking inflation.
Factory output growth recorded a four-month high of 7.1 per cent in February, aided by strong show in manufacturing and capital goods sectors.
India's industrial output grew at 7.1 per cent in February due to robust performance of the manufacturing sector.
"The retail inflation at 4.28 per cent for March has the core element moving at a faster pace".
He, however, said that despite the positive news on the food inflation front, inflationary pressures remained tilted to the upside and were likely to hover around the 5% mark in the current financial year.