Consumer prices in India, which have been declining over the past three months since December 2013, reversed the trend and increased by 28 basis points to 8.31 per cent in March 2014.
Consumer price inflation based on the all-India (general) consumer price index (CPI) increased to 8.31 per cent in March 2014 compared to 8.03 per cent in the previous month (February 2014).
The spike in inflation, which was mainly on account of a rise in the prices of fruits and vegetables, would result in a continuation of the Reserve Bank's tight money policy.
Consumer price inflation rates for the rural and urban areas for March 2014 stood at 8.89 per cent and 7.51 per cent, respectively, provisional estimates by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed.
The corresponding inflation rates for the rural and urban areas for February 2014 are 8.43 per cent and 7.55 per cent, respectively.
Overall inflation items, including beverages, increased to 9.1 per cent in March from 8.57 per cent in the previous month, according to provisional data released on Wednesday.
Vegetable prices increased 16.8 per cent in March against a 14.04 per cent rise in February. The prices of fruits rose 17.19 per cent compared with a 15.79 per cent increase in February.
Consumer price inflation based on the prices of protein-rich items such as eggs, fish and meat eased to 9.54 per cent in March from 9.69 per cent in February.
The rate of price rise for cereals and related products slowed to 9.61 per cent in March from 9.93 per cent in February.
However, the price of milk and its products increased 11.02 per cent in March compared with 10.37 per cent in the previous month.
Prices of condiments and spices rose 8.87 per cent from 8.48 per cent in February.
Retail inflation has been easing for three months since December 2013.
Inflation rate based on the wholesale price index also rose to a three-month high of 5.7 per cent in March, mainly due to a spurt in prices of food items such as potato, onion and fruits, official figures released by the CSO showed.
(Also see: Wholesale price inflation up at 5.7 per cent in March)