Retail inflation eases to 4.4% in February; IIP grows 7.5% in January

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Consumer price inflation (CPI) was at 5.07% in January.

Moreover, this was the biggest growth since February 2011.

As industrial output expanded at 7.5 per cent in January, India Inc today said the improvement augurs well for the return of broad based recovery in industrial performance which may be on the up-slope, going forward. While the manufacturing sector grew 8.7% in January, compared with 2.5% in the same month a year ago, capital goods grew 14.6% and consumer non-durables 10.5% in the month under review.

In a sustained improvement in economic conditions, retail inflation in February eased as food prices softened, while industrial production soared in January. The price of vegetables has risen by 17.57% in February compared to the corresponding period in 2017 while the price of eggs rose 8.51%, and that of milk and related products increased 3.83%.

The deceleration in CPI inflation will nudge the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hold off on hiking key repo rates as it sounded hawkish at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting last month.

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Inflation rate in the consumer food segment was lower at 3.26 per cent, as compared to 4.7 per cent in January.

The group that showed the greatest negative growth was "manufacture of tobacco products", which declined by 46.5%.

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

Considering the above mentioned factors, RBI now estimate inflation to be at 5.1% in Q4, including the HRA impact.

The IIP growth in January this year was mainly on account of up-tick in manufacturing sector which constitutes 77.63 percent of the index. Within the miscellaneous items, the inflation for transport and communication 2.39% and health 4.95%, while it has eased for personal care and effects to 4.24%, education 4.05%, household goods and services 4.16% and recreation and amusement 4.25% in February 2018.

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