Retail inflation eases to 3.69% in Aug.

Retail inflation in the country fell below the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) medium-term target of 4% last month.

The inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) eased to a 10-month low of 3.69% in August 2018, on the back of a decline in the prices of food products such as vegetables, pulses and sugar even as fuel prices increased.

As per data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, retail inflation stood at 4.17% in July 2018 and 3.28% in August 2017.

Food and beverage

Within the index, food and beverage category inflation fell to 0.85% as compared with 1.73% in July 2018.

This was driven by a sharp decline in prices of fruits, vegetables, eggs, pulses and sugar and confectionery products.

Inflation numbers were lower for clothing and footwear category at 4.88% (as against 5.28% in July) and housing category at 7.59% (compared to 8.30% in July). There was slowdown in prices in the pan and tobacco category as well at 5.34%, down from 6.34% in July.

Fuel rises

However, fuel and light inflation stood at 8.47% in August, up from 7.96% in July.

Meanwhile, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) expanded at 6.6% in the month of July 2018 driven by the manufacturing sector.

As per the data released on Wednesday, the IIP had expanded by just 1% in July 2017. The IIP growth for June 2018 stood at 6.8%.

The manufacturing sector recorded a growth of 7% in July, while the consumer durables sector grew at 14.4%. Likewise, capital goods production grew by 3% during the month under review.

In terms of industries, 20 out of 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector showed positive growth during July 2018, with highest growth of 42.7% in ‘manufacture of furniture’ category, followed by 30.8% in ‘manufacture of computer, electronics and optical products’ and 28.4% in ‘manufacture of tobacco products,’ category.

However, the industry group ‘manufacture of paper and paper products’ and ‘printing and reproduction of recorded media’ showed negative growth of 2.7% and 0.9%, respectively, the data showed.