India inflation falls to 5.96 percent in March

April 15, 2013 at 7:05 AM

NEW DELHI, April 15 (UPI) -- India's annual inflation fell to 5.96 percent in March from 6.84 percent in February, the government announced Monday, raising hopes for an interest rate cut.

The year-on-year numbers were more impressive when compared to March of last year when the wholesale price index, the main measure of inflation in the country, was at 7.69 percent, the Press Trust of India reported.

The latest inflation figures follow India's industrial output which rose for the second straight month in February to 0.6 percent. Together, they have raised expectations the Reserve Bank of India might cut interest rates at its meeting next month.

The central bank has cut rates twice so far this year in its benchmark repo rate, which is currently at 7.5 percent.

India is Asia's third largest economy after China and Japan.

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