Retail inflation rises to 4-month high of 2.57% in February; industrial growth slows to 1.7% in January

Retail inflation rose to a four-month high of 2.57 percent in February, mainly driven by higher food prices.

The retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 1.97 percent in January 2019 and 4.44 percent in February 2018.

Food inflation based on CPI, however was in negative at 0.66 percent. The latest print is higher than (-) 2.24 percent in January.

Retail inflation rises to 4-month high of 2.57% in February; industrial growth slows to 1.7% in January

Representational image.. AFP.

The Reserve Bank factors in retail inflation while deciding at its monetary policy.

Industrial growth slows to 1.7% in January

Meanwhile, subdued performance of the manufacturing sector, especially capital and consumer goods, pulled down the growth in industrial production to 1.7 percent in January from 7.5 percent a year ago.

The data of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Tuesday comes ahead of the Reserve Bank's monetary policy statement on 4 April and may increase the clamour for a cut in interest rates to boost economic activities.

The CSO has revised upwards the growth in IIP for December 2018 to 2.6 percent from the earlier estimate of 2.4 percent.

As per the CSO data, the growth in the manufacturing sector slowed to 1.3 percent in January from 8.7 percent in January 2018. There was also a slump in the power generation segment as the expansion was almost flat at 0.8 percent compared to 7.6 percent in the year-ago month.

However, the silver lining was the mining sector as it grew by 3.9 percent in January this year compared to 0.3 percent in the year-ago period.

Giving more details about the factory output in the country, CSO said the capital goods segments, considered to be barometer of investment, witnessed a contraction and so was in case of intermediate goods segment.

Data also revealed that both growth in production of consumer durable and non-durable goods too grew at slower rate in January compared to the year-ago period.

The IIP growth during April-January period of the current fiscal stood at 4.4 percent compared to 4.1 percent in the same time frame a year ago.

(With PTI inputs)

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Updated Date: Mar 12, 2019 19:11:16 IST

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