India’s factory output falls, retail inflation inches up

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Hopes of a revival in India’s manufacturing activity after a sharp spike in October were belied, with factory output actually registering a fall in the month after. To deal a further blow, the annual retail inflation also crept up to 5.61 percent in December, according to official figures.

As per data on index of industrial production (IIP) released by the Central Statistics Office, the country’s factory output declined by 3.19 percent in November, due mainly to a (-)4.4 percent drop in manufacturing activity.

The cumulative growth of the country’s factory output was also pulled down to 3.9 percent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year from 4.8 percent for the first seven months.

Between the other broader indices, electricity production was up marginally by 0.7 percent, while that for mining was at 2.3 percent.

The cumulative growth of the two indices for the first eight months of the current fiscal were 4.6 percent and 2.1 percent. Manufacturing’s cumulative growth stood at 3.9 percent.

In the case of prices, as pulses continued to remain dear, the country’s annual retail inflation moved up further to 5.61 percent in December from 5.41 percent during the month before, the official data showed.

According to the numbers on the consumer price index, the annual rate of inflation, December-on-December, was distinctly higher in rural areas at 6.32 percent against 4.73 percent in the cities and towns.

The retail food inflation during the month under review was 6.4 percent for India as a whole, as against 6.07 percent in the month before. In the rural and urban areas, the annual inflation rates for food items were 6.41 percent and 6.31 percent, respectively.

The official data further showed that prices of pulses were up 45.92 percent over those prevailing during the past year.

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