January factory production up 7.5%, inflation eases in February

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New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) As manufacturing picked up pace, India’s factory production growth in January at 7.5 per cent doubled over the 3.5 recorded in the same month last year, even as retail inflation eased in February, official data showed on Monday.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP), however, rose marginally over the 7.1 per cent registerd in December 2017, a Central Statistics Office (CSO) release said here.

The cumulative IIP growth for the April-January period of the current fiscal, at 4.1 per cent, was lower than the 5 per cent posted in same period of 2016-17.

In line with the recent trend of recovery in manufacturing, the sector, which constitutes 77.63 per cent of the index, grew by 8.7 per cent during January, as compared to 2.5 per cent in the same month last year.

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Retail inflation for February eased down to 4.4 per cent, compared to 5.07 per cent in the previous month. The consumer price-indexed (CPI) inflation was 3.65 per cent in February 2017.

Inflation softened last month mainly on account of cheaper food prices and lower cost for fuel. Inflation rate in the consumer food segment was lower at 3.26 per cent, as compared to 4.7 per cent in January.

The CPI for vegetables last month was 17.57 per cent, down from 26.97 per cent in January.

Milk products at 4.21 per cent, cereals and products at 2.10 per cent, meat and fish at 3.31 per cent, as well as eggs at 8.51 per cent were all less costly in February

Inflation in “fuel and light” too was lower in February at 6.80 per cent, as against 7.73 per cent during the previous month.

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The January IIP was also boosted by a higher offtake of consumer and capital goods.

Capital goods output in the month under consideration increased sharply by 14.6 per cent, as against a fall of 0.6 per cent in January last year.

While consumer non-durables grew at 10.5 per cent in January, consumer durables recorded a growth rate of 8 per cent as against against a decline of 2 per cent in the same month a year ago.

The mining sector, however, registered neglible growth of 0.1 per cent, as compared to 8.6 per cent rise in January last year.

During January, 16 out of 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector showed positive growth.

–IANS

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