Mumbai: The annual rate of inflation based on the wholesale price index stood marginally lower at 3.45 per cent during the week ended December 15, against 3.65 per cent in the previous week, official data showed.
The decline in inflation rate was due mainly to fall in prices of fruits, vegetables and textile products.
The annual rate of inflation stood at 5.73 per cent a year ago.
During the week ended December 15, prices of fruits and vegetables declined by 2 per cent, while textile prices fell by 5.9 per cent and cotton yarn by 7.7 per cent. However, prices of poultry chicken went up by 2 per cent and that of urad, condiments and spices by 1 per cent each.
The prices of beverages, tobacco, and tobacco products rose by 3.3 per cent due to a spurt in prices of cigarettes (8 per cent) and potable country liquor (6 per cent).
Prices of malted food were up 3 per cent while imported edible oil and groundnut oil also costlier by 1 per cent. Prices of manufactured products, which have a weight of 53.75 per cent in the price index, marginally declined by 0.2 per cent.
The fuel power, light and lubricants index, which has weight of 14.23 per cent in the wholesale price index, remained unchanged at its previous week's level.
Headline inflation rate in the country has so far been within the Reserve Bank of India's comfort ceiling of 5.0 per cent for the fiscal year to March 2008.
A hike in fuel prices expected next month is likely to nudge the annual rate up to 4.0 per cent, according to analysts.