Retail inflation eases to 4-month low of 4.40%; factory output jumps to 7.5%

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Retail inflation fell to a 4-month low of 4.44 percent in February on cheaper food articles and lower cost for fuel, government data showed on Monday.

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Retail inflation, which is an indicator of price rise has cooled down to a four-month low, since it was recorded at 4.88 per cent in November 2017. It was at 5.07 percent in January.

Data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the rate of price rise in the consumer food segment was lower at 3.26 percent in February, as against 4.7 percent in the previous month.

Inflation in vegetables was 17.57 percent last month, down from 26.97 percent in January), and for fruits it was 4.80 percent (as against 6.24 percent).

The inflation rate is in below expectations as a Reuters survey of 30 economists had predicted it to come at 4.80 per cent.

In another data released by the government, the industrial production for the month of January came at 7.5 per cent, up from 7.1 per cent in December.

The IIP growth in January this year was mainly on account of uptick in manufacturing sector which constitutes 77.63 percent of the index. It grew by 8.7 percent during the month as compared to 2.5 percent in January 2017, showing signs of recovery in the economy.

The central bank expects inflation to pick up to 5.1-5.6 percent in April-September and then ease later on anticipation of for normal rainfall.

OneIndia News (with agency inputs)

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