IN­FLA­TION AT 17- MONTH HIGH, IN­DUS­TRIAL OUT­PUT FALLS

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

CON­TIN­UED ON P13

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