Fall in energy prices drags United Kingdom inflation to two-year low

On a month-on-month basis, however, the industrial growth as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), increased from 0.3 per cent in November.

Consumer inflation stood at a provisional 2.05 per cent in January, its lowest level recorded since June 2017, government data showed on Tuesday.

"It is noteworthy that the path of inflation has moved downwards significantly, and over the period of the next one year, headline inflation is expected to remain contained below or at the target of 4 per cent".

Industrial production grew 2.4% in December as compared to 7.3% in the corresponding period in 2017-'18, according to the data released by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Tuesday.

Inflation pressures have eased in recent months, following falls in food and crude oil prices. In January, food disinflation, or a fall in food prices, persisted for the fourth consecutive month.

"The further falling back in inflation facilitates the Bank of England maintaining a "wait and see" approach on interest rates until after the United Kingdom leaves the EU", Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club consultancy, said.

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Mining sector output contracted by 1 per cent in December as against 1.2 per cent growth in December 2017, the data showed.

The CPI including owner-occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) - the ONS's preferred measure of inflation - was 1.8 per cent in January, down from 2 per cent in December.

The prices of vegetables declined 13.32% while prices of sugar and confectionery dropped 8.16%.

At 2.05 per cent, the overall retail inflation rate is much lower than the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) inflation projection of 2.8 per cent for January-March quarter.

India's consumer prices rose at a milder pace than anticipated in January and remained below the Reserve Bank of India's target for a sixth straight month, strengthening views it could again cut the key interest rate at its next policy review in April. Prices of health related goods increased 8.93% while education related goods rose by 7.99%.

Viral Acharya, the RBI's deputy governor in charge of monetary policy who was among those who sought to keep rates unchanged, has in the past pointed to core inflation as being a more reliable indicator. "Our expectations for the next few months are also very benign on headline CPI and hence we believe that there is room for further accommodation in the next policy meeting".

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