Millennium Post

Inflation up at 5.11%; factory output growth down to 1.7%

In December, retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was at 4.28 per cent (recalculated with new base year). The CPI inflation in December was 5 per cent with 2010 as base year.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has revised the base year to 2012 from 2010 for computing the consumer price index. After releasing the new series, Chief Statistician T C A Anant told reporters that “inflation in 2014-15 will be lower than the 2013-14 level”.

He further said that besides changes in weight of items and groups, “we have shifted to geometric mean for computing inflation from arithmetic mean used in previous series.” Food inflation in January was 6.13 per cent due to costlier fruits, vegetable and cereals. The rate of price rise in egg contracted by 0.24 per cent in January, while the same shot up to 9.38 per cent in milk and related products.

The government also released Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) which stood at 6.06 per cent on annual basis.  However, Industrial production growth rate slowed to 1.7 per cent in December last year on sequential basis mainly due to a contraction in the mining and quarrying sector. The growth in factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), in the month under review was, however, higher as compared to December, 2013 when it expanded by 0.1 per cent.

The November IIP has been revised upwards to 3.9 per cent from 3.8 per cent.

For the April-December period of 2014-15, IIP is 2.1 per cent as against 0.1 per cent in same period of the last fiscal. As per government data released on Thursday, manufacturing output, which constitutes over 75 per cent to the index, grew by 2.1 per cent in December compared to a dip of 1.1 per cent in the same month a year ago.

For April-December period, the sector saw an output growth of 1.2 per cent, compared to a contraction 0.4 per cent in the year-ago period. Output in the mining sector contracted by 3.2 per cent in December, compared to a growth of 2.6 per cent in the same month last year. During the April-December period, the output has grown by 1.7 per cent compared to a contraction of 1.5 per cent year-on-year. The production of capital goods, a barometer of demand, grew by 4.1 per cent in December as against a contraction of 2.5 per cent in same month of last year.

During the April-December period, capital goods output grew by 4.8 per cent as against a dip of 0.4 per cent. Thirteen out of the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during the month of December 2014 year-on-year.

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