India's wholesale price-based inflation in March rose 0.53%, its highest level in three months, mainly driven by food and primary articles, government data showed.

That slightly outpaced the 0.51% rise expected by economists polled by Reuters and increased from a 0.20% year-on-year rise in February.

Food prices rose 4.65% year on year compared with an increase of 4.09% in February, while prices of primary articles were up 4.51% against a 4.49% rise in the previous month.

Manufactured product prices fell 0.85% against a 1.27% drop in the previous month. Fuel and power prices fell 0.77% compared with a 1.59% drop in February.

For the fiscal year ended March 31 the wholesale inflation index fell 0.70% versus a 9.41% rise the previous year.

Last week, government data showed the country's annual retail inflation rate eased in March to a five-month low helped by a drop in fuel prices. (Reporting by Sarita Chaganti Singh; editing by Christian Schmollinger and Jason Neely)