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India's wholesale inflation drops for June, though weak monsoon still a worry

An Indian laborer carries a sack of rice at a shop in Gauhati, India, Thursday, July 10, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Anupam Nath

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An Indian laborer carries a sack of rice at a shop in Gauhati, India, Thursday, July 10, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Anupam Nath

MUMBAI, India - India benchmark inflation rate eased to 5.4 per cent in June, the lowest level in four months, the government said Monday.

The data comes as Asia's third-largest economy is trying to revive growth while battling a rising cost of living.

Still, a weak start to the annual monsoon rains season has been stoking worries that prices for food may soon shoot up, hurting the hundreds of millions of poor Indians who live on less than $2 per day.

The increase in the Wholesale Price Index for June was down from 6 per cent in May. India's government has set a target of between 4 and 5 per cent as an acceptable level.

Food prices rose 2 per cent over the previous month, the government's public information bureau said. Prices for "non-food articles declined by 1.1 per cent from May.

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