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August factory output up 4.3%, September inflation stagnant

Author: IANS/Friday, October 13, 2017/Categories: Economy

August factory output up 4.3%, September inflation stagnant

New Delhi - Even as retail inflation in India stagnated in September with a marginal drop in the food prices, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for August showed that factory output grew 4.3% against the same month last year on the back of robust mining and electricity sector growth, official data showed.

According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, September's consumer price index (CPI) inflation remained static at 3.28% as compared to August.

On a sequential basis, the country's Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) dropped to 1.25% during the month under review when compared to 1.52% in August 2017.

However, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the country's September retail inflation was lower than the 4.39% CPI rate reported for the corresponding month of last year.

The drop in retail inflation on a YoY basis was due to a fall in the prices of food items like pulses, eggs and spices. Vegetables in September became costlier by 3.92%, while cereals prices rose by 3.70%.

As against the 4.3% growth in August, manufacturing output in the country in July 2017 had grown marginally by 1.2% as compared to the corresponding month of last year.

As per the new IIP, with the revised base year of 2011-12, factory output had declined by (-)0.1% during June due to a drop in manufacturing, from a rise of 2.80% reported for May this year.

The cumulative growth for the period April-August 2017 was at a much lower 2.2%, over the corresponding period of last year. 

Data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the August growth was partly led by a revival in electricity, which grew at 8.3% over the same month last year.

Manufacturing output, which has the maximum weightage in the overall index, grew at 4.3% in August, as against 5.5% during the same month of last year.

Mining output during the month in consideration recorded impressive growth of 9.4%, as compared to the decline in August last year at (-) 4.3%. 

Among the six use-based classification groups, the output of primary goods grew by 7.1%, consumer non-durables by 6.9% and infrastructure or construction goods by 2.5%.

Both capital goods and consumer durables recovered from last month's decline to grow in August at 5.4% and 1.6%, respectively. 

In contrast, the output of intermediate goods declined by (-)0.2%.

"In terms of industries, 10 out of the 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during the month of August 2017 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year," the CSO said.

"The industry group 'Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products' has shown the highest positive growth of 24.9%, followed by 16.5% in 'Manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical and botanical products. On the other hand, the industry group 'Manufacture of furniture' has shown the highest negative growth of (-)16.0% followed by (-)15.1% in 'Manufacture of tobacco products' and (-)1.4% in 'Printing and reproduction of recorded media'," it added. 

Industry welcomed the numbers indicating a rebound in industrial growth. 

"Rebound in IIP is inspiring after a slowdown in the months of June 2017 and July 2017 vis-a-vis destocking and teething problems of GST," President PHD Chamber Gopal Jiwarajka said in a statement here.

"Industrial activity shrugged off the weakness of past few months and put up a strong performance in August, suggesting that GST-related disruptions could have somewhat settled," rating agency CRISIL said in a statement.

"In the months ahead, inflation could see an upside from some bump up in oil prices, and higher household spending led by (i) implementation of farm loan waiver and (ii) an expected upward revision in salary and allowances of state government employees," it added.

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