India's annual inflation rate, despite several central bank interest increases, jumped to 8.98 percent in March, the government said Friday.
The rate was up from February's 8.31 percent and sharply higher than the 8 percent target set by the Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank.
The March increase, blamed by the commerce and industry ministry on higher prices of fuel and manufactured products, was expected to result in another rate increase by the central bank, which has already done that eight times in 15 months.
The Times of India said the latest numbers will increase pressure on the government to address supply-side inefficiencies at a time when assembly elections are to be held in five states in the next several weeks.
Until recently, the major worry had been food inflation but that has been coming down in recent months, officials said.