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India's wholesale inflation hits five-month high

Inflation in India jumped to a five-month high in May, compounding worries that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promises of curbing rising prices may not materialize.

Wholesale prices, a closely monitored barometer of the cost of living, rose 6.01 percent - the highest figure since December, according to data released by the commerce ministry on Monday.

Adding to unease over forecasts of a drier-than-usual monsoon season that could make food more expensive, the increase also came amid worsening violence in Iraq that has caused oil to trade higher on global markets.

The spike in inflation compared to a 5.2 percent increase in April and was driven mainly by rising food and fuel prices, especially fruits and vegetables, the government said.

The cost of food was up 2.3 percent in May from the prior year, while fuel bills, including the price of electricity, also rose by 0.5 percent.

Modi's new government has made tackling inflation a priority as it strives to get India's floundering economy back on track.

cjc/nk (Reuters, AFP)