Manufacturing, capital & consumer goods push IIP growth to 7.5 pc
13 March, 2018, 04:37 | Author: Terri Saunders
In February, consumer food price index softened to 3.26 per cent as against 4.7 per cent in January.
Much of the growth in consumer prices appears to have come from a normalising of food prices, which finally grew in February following 12 months of deflation.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast February's consumer price inflation to ease to 4.80 percent from 5.07 percent in the previous month.
Factory output grew at 7.1 percent in December, before hitting a 25-month high of 8.4 percent in November, last year, as compared with a modest growth of 3.5 percent during December, 2016.
The dip in rate of inflation came on the back of softening of prices of vegetables and other perishable goods.
"This (fall in CPI) should spur RBI to resume its rate easing cycle to give a boost to the nascent recovery now underway in the economy", Banerjee said. The RBI in its monetary policy review last month had estimated retail inflation at 5.1% for January-March 2018.
RBI said, "Though prices eased in December, the winter seasonal food price moderation was less than usual".
Retail inflation fell to a 4-month low of 4.44 per cent in February on cheaper food articles and lower cost for fuel.
But, on a cumulative basis, the IIP expanded by 4.1 per cent between April and January 2017-18, which was lower than the 5 per cent growth in the same period a year ago.
The country's industrial production, however, rose by 7.5% in January, backed by growth in manufacturing, consumer and capital goods sectors.
Capital goods, an indicator of investment activity, showed a sharp increase in output by 14.6 per cent in January 2018 as against a decline of 0.6 per cent a year ago. Moreover, the manufacturing which has a weight of 77.63 per cent in the IIP is showing the sustenance of the growth momentum.
Prices of pan, tobacco and intoxicants rose by 7.34%.
The mining sector, however, was a laggard at 0.1% growth compared to 8.6% a year ago.
Analysts at Standard Chartered expect this lower growth rate to sustain for 2018, giving an annual forecast of 4% year-on-year from 6.3% last year, as "slowing domestic demand more than offsets upward pressure from continued capacity cuts". The rising trend in manufacturing growth also shows that the underlying growth momentum is positive.
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