Wholesale price-based inflation remained in the negative zone for the 17th month in a row at (-)0.85 per cent in March even as prices of some food articles, mainly pulses, turned more expensive.
The March wholesale price index-based inflation was higher than (-) 0.91 per cent in February. In March last year, it was (-) 2.33 per cent.
This is the 17th straight month since November 2014 when deflationary pressure persisted.
Food inflation stood at 3.73 per cent in March compared to 3.35 per cent in February, showed official data released today.
Inflation in vegetables came in at (-) 2.26 per cent in March while the same in pulses was high at 34.45 per cent.
Onion and fruits saw easing of prices, with these sub-indices falling by 17.65 per cent and 2.13 per cent, respectively.
The inflation print in the fuel and power segment was (-) 8.30 per cent, and for manufactured products, it read (-) 0.13 per cent in March.
The January WPI inflation has been revised lower to (-)1.07 per cent from the provisional estimate of (-) 0.90 per cent.
The Reserve Bank mainly looks at retail inflation data while firming up its monetary policy stance. Retail inflation in March fell to a six-month low of 4.83 per cent.
RBI earlier this month cut the key policy rate by 0.25 per cent and projected retail inflation to be around five per cent this fiscal.
It had said there were uncertainties over unseasonal rains, the likely spatial and temporal distribution of the monsoon, the low reservoir levels by historical averages, and the strength of the recent upturn in commodity prices, especially oil.
The Met department, however, later forecast an above-normal monsoon for this year.