NEW DELHI: After registering a 17-month high growth of 8.8 per cent in November, India’s industrial production expanded at 7.1 per cent in December. The pace of growth is robust on a year-on-year basis. In December 2016, just after demonetisation, industrial output had grown at 2.4 per cent. For the nine-month period between April and December 2017, the cumulative IIP growth was 3.7 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.
Government data released on Monday also showed that retail inflation softened marginally at 5.07 per cent in January. While consumer durables output growth slowed to 0.9 per cent in December compared with a 2.9 per cent jump in November, consumer non-durables was up 16.5 per cent. The growth in mining activity remained subdued at 1.2 per cent in December, following November’s trend.
“In our view, it remains somewhat premature to attribute the recent double-digit growth in capital goods to a pickup in investment activity, as it benefits from the rebuilding of inventories for sub-sectors such as commercial vehicles as well as a favourable base effect related to the 6.2 per cent contraction in December 2016,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.
Food inflation softened to 4.58 per cent in January from 4.85 per cent a month ago. Inflation in the vegetable basket slowed to 26.97 per cent against 29.13 per cent in December. Prices of fruits, too, rose at a slower pace of 6.24 per cent last month, against 6.63 per cent recorded in the previous month.For the fuel segment, inflation was 7.73 per cent in January compared to 7.90 per cent in December.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week kept interest rates unchanged and raised its March quarter CPI inflation forecast to 5.1 per cent. It also projected an inflation range of 5.1-5.6 per cent in the first half of the next fiscal. However, experts ruled out any rate hike in the near term. RBI recently projected an acceleration in economic growth to 7.2 per cent from a level of 6.6 per cent in the current fiscal year.
Food inflation softened to 4.58 per cent in January from 4.85 per cent a month ago. Inflation in the vegetable basket slowed to 26.97 per cent against 29.13 per cent in December. Prices of fruits, too, rose at a slower pace of 6.24 per cent last month, against 6.63 per cent recor-ded in the previous month. Meanwhile, fuel inflation was 7.73 per cent in January