The consumer price index-based inflation rose to a four-month high of 4.87 per cent in May, from 4.58 per cent the previous month, on rising food prices and a lower base.
This was despite the fuel and lighting category showing less of a rise, of 3.37 per cent, from 5.24 per cent in April.
Food inflation rose to 3.1 per cent, from 2.8 per cent in April. Vegetable prices rose 8.40 per cent, from 7.29 per cent; those of fruit by 12.33 per cent, against 9.65 per cent in April.
However, in an unpleasant news for cane growers, the pace of fall in sugar prices was well over 8 per cent, against a little over 4 per cent in April.
Inflation in household goods and services, comprising transport and communication, personal care and effects, recreation and amusement, inched up to 4.97 per cent, from 4.75 per cent.
The Reserve Bank of India projects inflation at 4.8-4.9 per cent in the first half (April to end-September) of the current financial year.
Aditi Nayar, principal economist at rating agency Icra, said inflation remained on track to cross 5 per cent in the next reading, peaking at around 5.3 per cent in June, followed by a base effect-led softening in subsequent months.