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Retail inflation falls to 4.4 percent in February

12 March 2018

Besides, factory output for the month of January 2018 soared to 7.5 per cent as compared to 3.5 per cent in the corresponding month of 2017, showed data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation.

Meanwhile, the industrial output grew by 7.5% in January. Last year, a robust January print was followed by a weaker February outcome, also stemming from fluctuations in retail clothing prices. The consumer durables sector saw growth accelerating sharply to 8% from 0.86% over the same period.

In a sustained improvement in economic conditions, retail inflation in February eased as food prices softened, while industrial production soared in January.

Besides, he said, even though the consumer inflation at 4.4 percent in February may be lower, the undercurrent remains biased on the upside, "making RBI disinclined towards any rate cut, though the industry would like it to happen".

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The retail inflation, however, fell to four-month low of 4.44 per cent in the month of February as compared to 5.07 per cent in January.

As per the use-based classification, the growth rates in January 2018 over January 2017 are 5.8 per cent in primary goods, 4.9 per cent in intermediate goods, and 6.8 per cent in Infrastructure/ Construction Goods.

February is the second straight month in which consumer inflation eased.

The IIP growth in January this year was mainly on account of uptick in manufacturing sector, which constitutes of 77.63 per cent of the index.

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The mining sector, however, registered negligible growth of 0.1 per cent, as compared to 8.6 per cent rise in January previous year. Similarly, inflation in the fuel and light segment slowed to 6.8% from 7.73% over the same period.

The cumulative CPI inflation was lower at 3.52% in April-December FY2018 compared with 4.58% in April-December FY2017.

Inflation in pulses and spices witnessed fall in price rise.

"Hence, it can be expected that RBI may not dilute its position on expected inflationary risks and is likely to maintain status quo during the April monetary policy".

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Retail inflation falls to 4.4 percent in February