Monday, 23 October, 2017

April WPI inflation slips to 3.85 pc as food prices cool

Preview - Indian retail inflation seen easing in April on lower food prices India's Industrial Output Strengthens, Inflation at Record Low
Derrick Tucker | 15 May, 2017, 01:01

However, inflation on the Consumer Price Index or CPI, which has already been revised to a new series, declined to 2.99 per cent in April as against 3.81 per cent in the previous month.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has already changed the base year for the country's national accounts, including the gross domestic product (GDP) and the gross value addition (GVA).

Ficci Secretary General A Didar Singh said the new series of WPI is more contemporary as it broadens the scope of commodities covered under the main sub segments.

The new series of IIP data demonstrates a rebound of industrial output in 2016-17, the industry lobby group Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said in a statement. "The other change is that the WPI will no longer incorporate indirect taxes, which means they will be insulated from policy changes". A new WPI Food Index will be compiled to capture the rate of food inflation. "A shift towards PPI may result in inclusion of services in the index, unlike the current scenario, where services are excluded".

In line with the Modi government's push for clean energy, IIP will now also capture renewable electricity production in the new series. The manufacturing sector growth rate was 1.2% compared with 1.3% based on the old series. It adds certain new items like steel cables and tissue paper in the basket and dropped a few such as papad, VCD player and khandsari.

A high-level panel had firmed up the methodology for the IIP with new base year of 2011-12.

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IIP slipped to 2.7 per cent in March, chiefly because of poor performance of the manufacturing sector, as per the new series.

Factory production, measured on a new, more recent base year, grew more robustly and in a less volatile manner than had been presumed in the year to March, indicating that an industrial turnaround may be under way.

However, intermediate goods production grew 3 per cent in 2016-17 while infrastructure and construction goods rose by 3.8 per cent. Retail inflation slowed to a record low in April.

Economists predict 1.5 per cent annual growth in industrial output in March, bouncing from February's 1.2 per cent contraction.

Latest data released by CSO shows that electricity sector expanded 6.2 percent in March from 1.2 percent in February and 11.9 percent previous year. In March, the two items recorded a deflation of 12.42 and 7.24%.

The Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) during the month under review plunged to 0.61 per cent, as compared to 2.01 per cent in March.

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