Retail inflation dips marginally to 4.28 pc in March, IIP stands at 7.1 percent in Feb


Agencies, New Delhi India’s retail inflation declined to 4.28 percent in March, while industrial production (IIP), led by robust manufacturing output, grew 7.1 percent in February; data released by Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Thursday showed. Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the main price gauge that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tracks. In February, prices grew at 4.4 percent. The marginal fall in retail inflation came as prices of vegetables and other food and beverages softened. The rate of increase in price rise slowed for the third consecutive month after hitting a fresh high of 5.2 percent growth in December and 5.07 percent in January due to unusual pick up in food prices and rise in domestic petrol and diesel prices. Last week, the RBI brought down its January-March (2017-18) inflation projection to 4.5 percent from at 5.1 per cent. It also slashed CPI inflation for 2018-19 to 4.7-5.1 per cent in April-September, 2018-19 and 4.4 percent in the next half of the year, including the impact of house rent allowance. Consumer food price inflation, a metric to gauge changes in monthly kitchen costs, grew 2.81 percent in March as compared with 3.26 percent growth in February and 2.01 percent a year ago. Vegetables prices grew 11.70 percent in March as compared with 17.57 percent a month ago. Housing inflation remained almost flat at 8.31 percent in March as compared with 8.28 percent a month ago, while fuel inflation, which has seen an uptick since July, eased at 5.73 percent in March from 6.80 in February. Meanwhile, cumulative IIP growth for the period of April 2017-February 2018 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 4.3 percent. Manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than three-fourths of the entire index, came in flat at 8.7 percent in February as compared to 8.7 percent in January and 0.7 percent a year ago. Capital goods output, which is a proxy to measure private sector investment activity, was 20 percent in February compared with 14.6 percent in January. Consumer durables output increased at 7.9 percent in February as compared to a 8 percent growth in January and de-growth of 4.6 percent in February 2017, while consumer non-durables grew 7.4 percent in February from 10.5 percent jump a month ago. Electricity production grew 4.5 percent in February, as compared 7.6 percent growth in January and 1.2 percent a year ago.