INFLATION AT 17- MONTH HIGH, INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT FALLS
NEW DELHI: India’s economy seemed to have sputtered as retail inflation rose to 5.69% in January, while factory output fell 1.3% in December, the latest data released on Friday showed.
Factory output, measured by the index of industrial production, fell 3.4% in November and expanded 3.6% in December last year. The manufacturing sector, which accounts for two-thirds of the country’s industrial output, shrank 2.4% in December, suggesting factories were cutting production. Though the deceleration in December could be partly attributed to production halted in factories shut by floods in Chennai, analysts said persistent moderation in industrial output was a cause for worry.
Factory output grew 3.1% during April to December 2015, marginally higher than the 2.6% expansion in the same period the previous year. “The cumulative number of 3.1% is higher than last year, so we are on track and there is no need for worry,” Shaktikanta Das, economic affairs secretary, told HT.
There is heightened anticipation that finance minister Arun Jaitley will announce measures to boost growth and investment to create jobs and multiply income in the budget for 2016-17 that will presented on February 29.
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