India's wholesale prices fell for a 17th straight month in March, declining by an annual 0.85 percent, driven down by tumbling prices of oil and manufactured goods, government data showed on Monday.

The pace of fall was faster than a 0.77 percent annual decline forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. In February, the index fell a provisional 0.91 percent.

Wholesale fuel prices dropped 8.30 percent from a year ago in March, while prices of manufactured goods declined 0.13 percent year on year.

Food prices last month gained 3.73 percent year-on-year, compared with a provisional 3.35 percent gain in February.