Retail inflation at 4-mth low of 4.44% on cheaper food, fuel

IIP growth boosted to 7.5% on courtesy in manufacturing capital consumer goods

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The country's industrial production, however, rose by 7.5% in January, backed by growth in manufacturing, consumer and capital goods sectors.

Data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the rate of price rise in the consumer food segment was lower at 3.26 percent in February, as against 4.7 percent in the previous month. It then grew by 7.06 per cent in December and by 3.5 per cent in January 2017.

The inflation for clothing and footwear increased to 5.00%, while the CPI inflation of fuel and light eased to 6.80% in February 2018. In February, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept interest rates unchanged and warned that inflation risks were skewing upwards. Retail prices of pulses, sugar and spices contracted in February.

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Cumulative IIP growth for the period of April-January over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 4.1 percent.

It was 4.88 per cent in November a year ago.

Capital goods output, which is a proxy to measure private sector investment activity, was 14.6 percent in January compared to 16.4 percent in December. Capital goods output grew by 14.6 per cent in January as against a contraction of 0.6 per cent in the same period a year ago.

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Electricity production showed an improvement, rising 7.6 percent in January, as compared 4.4 percent growth in December and 5.1 percent a year ago. However, the mining sector saw a flat growth of 0.1 per cent compared to 8.6 per cent a year ago.

Before this, factory output grew at a sharpest pace in November 2017 at 8.8 per cent. This looks like an early sign of industrial revival.

The consumer durables and consumer non-durables have recorded growth of eight percent and 10.5 percent respectively. "Domestic pump prices of petrol and diesel rose sharply in January, reflecting lagged pass-through of the past increases in global crude oil prices".

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The industry group "Manufacture of other transport equipment" has shown the highest positive growth of 33.1 percent followed by 27.8 percent in "Manufacture of furniture" and 26.6 percent in "Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers".

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