Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
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Retail inflation eases to 4.28 percent in March

Retail inflation eases to 4.28 percent in March

The report, however, stated that urban inflation rate eased by 13.75 per cent (year-on-year) in March from 14.76 per cent recorded in February, while the Rural inflation rate also eased by 12.99 per cent in March from 13.96 per cent in February.

According to the body, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measured inflation increased by 13.34 percent (year-on-year) in March 2018.

As per Central Statistics Office (CSO), inflation in the vegetables segment cooled to 11.7 per cent in March from 17.57 per cent in the previous month.

However, the not-so-good news is on the core inflation front, which rose to a 43-month high of 5.4 per cent in March.

Food-price inflation decelerated to 16.1 percent in March the weakest rate of growth since July 2016, it said.

Among non-food categories, the "fuel and light" segment's inflation rate accelerated to 5.73 per cent in March. On the other hand, prices of pulses declined by 13.41%.

During April-February, IIP growth slowed to 4.3% from 4.7% in the year-earlier period.

"In response to the comfortable inflationary position, the Monetary Policy Committee maintained status quo albeit turning hawkish". As per the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India's industrial output was 1.2 per cent in the same month previous year. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown at a modest 1.7 per cent in February past year.

"Encouraging growth-inflation mix is on hand, as inflation moderated, whilst production numbers rang in another good month, helped also by base effects when the demonetisation impact had depressed prices and economic activity", said Radhika Rao, India economist, DBS Bank. It is the lowest in five months and below the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) projected 4.5 per cent level for the fourth-quarter of fiscal year 2018.

Factory output growth recorded a four-month high of 7.1 per cent in February, aided by strong show in manufacturing and capital goods sectors.

Clothing and footwear inflation rose to 4.9% compared to 5% in February.

Devendra Kumar Pant, Chief Economist, India Ratings and Research said: "The February 2018 IIP growth at 7.1 per cent gives confidence that the industrial recovery is broadening".

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