Factory output shrinks 1.2% in February amidst falling economic activity

Factory output shrinks 1.2% in February amidst falling economic activity

Industrial output slipped to 4-month low, contracting 1.2 per cent in February, mainly on account on decline in the manufacturing sector and lower offtake of capital as well as consumer goods.

Industrial production fell to a four-month low in February as manufacturing sector lagged behind, while retail inflation hit a five-month high in March though food prices cooled down. The Index of Industrial Production, IIP, had grown 1.99 per cent in February previous year.

Energy output rose slightly over the year while there were solid gains for capital goods, intermediate goods and durable consumer goods. "The government should continue its reform measures and deepen it in times to come to strengthen the manufacturing sector", Ficci President Pankaj Patel said.

Data released on Wednesday revealed that the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) declined by 1.2 per cent in February. Consumer inflation accelerated to 3.81% in March largely due to increased fuel prices, according to data separately released by the department.

In the EU28, industrial production edged down 0.2 percent monthly in February, while it grew 2.1 percent from a year ago. Also, the consumer price index-based inflation rose to a 5-month high of 3.81% in March against 3.65% in February.


Both figures were lower than market expectations of increases of 0.1% in the month and of 2% from a year earlier.

However, vegetables continued to remain in the negative zone with deflation of (-) 8.57 percent in March 2017, as per the data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Prepared meals, snacks and candies prices were also high as prices grew by 5.65 per cent.

CARE Ratings said that the worrisome feature is that non-food components still witnessed high rates: clothing 4.6%, fuel and light 5.6%, housing 5%, transport 6%.

"Our internal estimate suggests that CPI inflation is unlikely to breach the 4 per cent mark till July 2017".

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