IIP growth rebounds, retail inflation surges

Factory output as measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production, had expanded 6.5 per cent in July 2018

Factory output as measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production, had expanded 6.5 per cent in July 2018

The Consumer Price Index, which tracks costs for household goods and services, rose 1.7 percent compared to August of a year ago, a tenth of a point lower than July, weighed down by falling gasoline and electricity prices.

Housing costs, airfares, used auto prices and the cost of recreation all pushed the index higher. Retail inflation during August 2018 stood at 3.69 per cent.

Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA, the Indian arm of Moody's, said the high frequency data for August 2019 revealed a recovery was not under way, despite a pick-up in industrial growth in July 2019. The CPI gained 0.3 per cent in July. Meanwhile, fuel and light category saw prices decline by 1.70 per cent during August. Since then, the index grew at 2.7 per cent in March, 4.3 per cent in April and 4.6 per cent in May. The power generation sector recorded growth of 4.8 per cent in July 2019, compared to 6.6 per cent in July 2018.

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Economists expect inflation will accelerate in the coming months and breach its target in 2020 following the broadening this month of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods to include a range of consumer goods. "This is unlikely to reverse the Fed's recent easing bias, however".

The trade stand-off, which has soured business confidence and tipped both U.S. and global manufacturing into recession, is threatening the longest economic expansion in history.

Despite signs prices may finally be starting to heat up, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates again next week as policymakers seek to ward off the dangers of a slowing world economy amid President Donald Trump's trade conflicts.

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According to data released by the government's statistics wing, the rate of industrial production, as reflected by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), came in at 4.3 per cent in July as against 1.1 per cent in June and 6.5 per cent in July a year ago.

After several years of low unemployment failed to ignite inflation, a single month's data may not be enough to persuade economists the long-expected return of price pressures has begun.

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, rose 0.2 per cent in August for a second consecutive month. Apparel prices rose 0.2 per cent after gaining 0.4 per cent in the prior month.

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The ECB will also start buying €20 billion in bonds every month, starting in November as part of a quantitative easing program. Attention now turns to Draghi's 1230 GMT news conference at which he will also reveal the bank's new economic projections.


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