scorecardRetail inflation inches to 4-month high in Dec; IIP growth slips to 8-month low in Nov
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Retail inflation inches to 4-month high in Dec; IIP growth slips to 8-month low in Nov

Retail inflation inches to 4-month high in Dec; IIP growth slips to 8-month low in Nov
Finance3 min read
Source: Pixabay
  • Food basket inflation was at 9.53% in December 2023, up from 8.7% in November.
  • The core inflation stood at 3.8%, moderating from 4.% in November.
  • India's industrial growth rate slumped to an 8-month low of 2.4% in November.
Retail inflation inched up marginally to a four-month high of 5.69% in December 2023, mainly on account of higher food prices, according to official data released on Friday. The inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) was at 5.55% in November 2023 and 5.72% in December 2022.

In August 2023, inflation touched a high of 6.83%.

As per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), retail inflation in the food basket was at 9.53% in December 2023, up from 8.7% in the preceding month and 4.9% in the year-ago month.

“While persistent rise in the food prices contributed to an uptick in inflation in December 2023, the core inflation has continued to moderate indicating signs of easing price pressure for the households. A continual moderation in inflation is supportive of growth in the consumption driven sectors, said Vivek Rathi, national director of research at Knight Frank India.

The core inflation stood at 3.8%, moderating from 4.% in November. As per RBI’s forecast, FY24 inflation would be at 5.4%. The softer numbers that came in December could undershoot the numbers marginally,” said Upasna Bhardwaj, chief economist at Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Experts expect RBI to keep its keep repo rate and policy stance unchanged in the February policy. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been focussed on bringing retail inflation under 4% which is its target.

“We expect the RBI to allow liquidity conditions to ease in the coming months to let the operating target rate soften towards the repo rate before shifting stance— a move which is likely in 1QFY25,” said Bharadwaj.

Manufacturing drags November industrial growth to 2.4%

India's industrial growth rate slumped to an 8-month low of 2.4% in November from a 16-month high of 11.6% in October, data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Friday showed.

In November 2022, the country’s industrial production had grown by 7.6%. The growth rate for November was dragged down by the manufacturing sector, which slowed to a crawl of 1.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis after having posted an increase of 10.2 per cent in October.

The sharp slowdown in manufacturing output growth, which accounts for more than three-fourths of the index of industrial production (IIP), was partly attributed to the large number of holidays in November on account of festivals due to which the working declined.

The IIP figure has been pulled down by the manufacturing sector which posted the lowest annualised growth of 1.2% in 13 months after a solid momentum in the early part of the fiscal. While moderation in industrial activity is typically seen in the post-festive season, this may also be an indication of an expectation of demand slowdown in the last quarter of the fiscal, he added.

The electricity generation also grew at a slower pace of 5.8% as compared to a high double digit growth of 20.4% in October. Similarly, the mining output growth declined to 6.8% from 13.1% in October.

“Industrial output for Nov-23 has disappointed even factoring in the impact of the festival holidays during the month and the adverse base factor. IIP has recorded a modest growth of 2.4% YoY, the lowest print in eight months since March 2023," said Suman Chowdhury, chief economist & head of research of Acuite Ratings & Research.

There has also been a contraction in both consumer durables and non-durables output in Nov-23, leading to an overall contraction of 4.2 per cent YoY in the consumer goods sector.

“The growth indicators from the industrial production print however seem to be uneven. Output from most of the key industries have witnessed moderate growth, however, due to a high statistical base. However, the consumer durable output, which is consumption reflection, contracted by 5.4%. This can be concerning as sustained consumption growth is the key to keep the economic growth momentum continuing,” said Rathi.

(With inputs from PTI & IANS)

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