Retail inflation declined to 10.39% in March, snapping the five month rising trend, as prices of vegetables and protein based items eased.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation was at 10.91% in February. The inflation, however, continued to remain in the double digit terrain for the fourth consecutive month in March.
The prices in the vegetables basket eased to 12.16% in March. It was 21.29% in February.
Inflation in protein-based items -- egg, meat and fish -- stood at 14.36% during the month. In oils and fats segment, it stood at 11.72%.
Among all the constituents that make the CPI, cereals recorded the highest inflation of 17.55% in March, according to data released today.
Besides, inflation in pulses stood at 11.38% and in sugar it was 11.65% on an annual basis.
The rate of price rise in clothing and footwear segment stood at 10.64% during the month.
In urban areas, retail inflation declined to 10.38% in March from 10.84% in the previous month. The CPI for rural population fell to 10.33% during the month from 11.01% in February.
The data for wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation is expected on Monday. The WPI figures for February stood at 6.84%, much higher than RBI's comfort level of 5-6%.
Meanwhile, industrial output growth in February stood at a meagre 0.6% in February, compared to a growth of 4.3% in the same month last year.
The RBI will take into account the double digit retail inflation and slowdown in factory output while formulating its annual monetary policy, which is scheduled on May 3.