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Retail inflation at 4-mth low of 4.44% on cheaper food, fuel

12 March 2018

In another data released by the government, the industrial production for the month of January came at 7.5 per cent, up from 7.1 per cent in December.

The consumer price index probably rose 0.2 percent in February from the previous month, after a 0.5-percent jump in January, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News ahead of Labor Department figures due Tuesday.

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"When it comes to consumer inflation, 4.4% in February may be lower than January, the undercurrent remains biased on the upside, making RBI disinclined towards any rate cut, though the industry would like it to happen", it said in a statement. In February 2017, however, it was 3.65 per cent. Inflation in vegetables was 17.57 per cent in February against 26.97 per cent in January. RBI had left policy rates unchanged fearing a rise in inflation and had projected Q4FY2018 inflation at 5.1%, including the impact of HRA, considering the rise in fuel prices in January 2018, and less-than-usual moderation in seasonal food prices.

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.

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India's annual consumer price inflation remained steady in September from the. In terms of industries, 16 out of 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector showed positive growth during January, 2018.

RBI said, "Though prices eased in December, the winter seasonal food price moderation was less than usual".

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Deloitte India Lead Economist Anis Chakravarty said: "Overall, the latest IIP data points towards signs of economic recovery as the negative effect of the disruptive shocks of previous year appear to be on the wane". Though a positive industrial growth and recent PMI numbers indicate an economic recovery, a major chunk of the economy, which is the informal sector that employs significant population of the country, is still coping with the effects of the structural reforms.

Retail inflation at 4-mth low of 4.44% on cheaper food, fuel