August inflation down at 3.69%, July industrial output eases (Roundup)

Lower food prices eased India's August retail inflation to 3.69 per cent from 4.17 per cent in July, while industrial output in July slowed with a lower rise of 6.6 per cent compared with 6.87 per cent in June, official data showed on Wednesday.

Industry described the latest estimates of output as a positive sign towards the growth cycle

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), or retail inflation, in August was higher than in the corresponding period last year when it stood at 3.28 per cent.

Product-wise, prices of milk-based products, eggs, meat and fish pushed the retail inflation higher on a YoY basis.

In contrast, deflation in the cost of vegetables, pulses and sugar capped the overall food prices. The category of "pulses and products" became cheaper by (-) 7.76 per cent and that of "sugar and confectionery" by (-) 5.45 per cent.

Among non-food categories, the "fuel and light" segment's inflation rate accelerated to 8.47 per cent in August.

India's industrial output also eased marginally in July with a slower rise of 6.6 per cent compared with 6.87 per cent in June, official data showed on Wednesday.

The CSO's the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in July was higher on YoY basis.

"The cumulative growth for April-July 2018 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 5.4 per cent," as per the Quick Estimates of IIP for July 2018.

On a YoY basis, factory output growth expanded by 7 per cent while the mining sector's production rose by 3.7 per cent and the sub-index of electricity generation increased by 6.7 per cent.

Among the six use-based classification groups, the output of primary goods -- with a highest weightage of 34.04 -- grew by 6.9 per cent. The output of intermediate goods, with the second-highest weightage, rose by 1.2 per cent.

Similarly, consumer non-durables' output rose during the month by 5.6 per cent and that of consumer durables by 14.4 per cent.

In addition, infrastructure or construction goods output increased by 8.4 per cent and capital goods by 3.0 per cent.

Commenting on the data, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg tweeted: "August consumer price index at 3.69 per cent (down from 4.17 per cent in July) indicates further moderation in retail inflation. Food inflation in August at .29 per cent only guards majority of the poor from any rise in prices. Sound Indian macroeconomic story continues."

Terming the latest IIP estimates as a positive sign towards the growth cycle of industrial activity, industry body Assocham said the numbers state an optimistic outlook for the economy.

"The IIP index accelerated in July 2018, which is 6.6 per cent higher compared with 1.0 per cent in July 2017, mainly pulled up by strong performance in manufacturing, electricity, primary goods, capital goods, infrastructure/construction, consumer durable goods and non-consumer durable goods," Assocham Secretary General Uday Varma said in a statement.

"Further, the rise in output of capital goods sector is indicative of improvement in investment demand," he added.



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