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Industrial growth slows to 1.7% in Jan

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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

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

Meanwhile, the CSO has revised upwards the growth in IIP for December 2018 to 2.6% from the earlier estimate of 2.4%. As per the CSO data, the growth in manufacturing sector slowed to 1.3% in January from 8.7% in January 2018. There was also slump in the power generation segment as the expansion was almost flat at 0.8% compared to 7.6% in the year-ago month. However, the silver lining was the mining sector as it grew by 3.9% in January this year compared to 0.3% 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% compared to 4.1% in the same time frame a year ago.

Retail inflation rises to 4-month high of 2.57% in Feb
Retail inflation rose to four-month high of 2.57% in February, mainly driven by higher food prices.

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

Food inflation based on CPI, however was in negative at 0.66%. The latest print is higher than (-) 2.24% in January. The Reserve Bank factors in retail inflation while deciding at its monetary policy.

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