CPI inflation eases to 4.44% in February 2018; food inflation at 3.26%

Analysts expect food inflation to rise because of the seasonal upturn in vegetable prices in summer an increase in minimum support price of summer crops that will reflect with a lag and an upswing in global wheat prices

CPI inflation eases to 4.44% in February 2018; food inflation at 3.26%

Inflation stood at 5.2% in December, 2017 and 5.07% in January.

Moreover, this was the biggest growth since February 2011.

Industrial activity accelerated in January to 7.5% on the back of strong manufacturing growth and a rebound in the consumer durables sector, according to official data released on Monday. While the manufacturing sector grew 8.7% in January, compared with 2.5% in the same month previous year, capital goods grew 14.6% and consumer non-durables 10.5% in the month under review.

Retail inflation eased for the second straight month in February to 4.44%, as food prices came down, government data showed today. Within the food items, the inflation fell for vegetables to 17.57%, fruits 4.80%, meat and fish 3.31%, sugar and confectionery (-) 0.26% and cereals and products 2.10%.

On retail inflation, "the undercurrent remains biased on the upside, making RBI disinclined towards any rate cut", he said.

The cumulative CPI inflation was lower at 3.52% in April-December FY2018 compared with 4.58% in April-December FY2017.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which takes into consideration the inflation indicator for deriving it's position on India's monetary policy stance, had increased the CPI target for Q4FY18.

Inflation softened last month mainly on account of cheaper food prices and lower cost for fuel.

Dutch industrial production expanded at the quickest pace in nearly seven years in January, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed Monday.

On the other hand, the industry group "Manufacture of tobacco products" has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 46.5 percent followed by (-) 32.4 percent in "Other manufacturing" and (-) 13.2 percent in "Printing and reproduction of recorded media". Within the miscellaneous items, the inflation for transport and communication 2.39% and health 4.95%, while it has eased for personal care and effects to 4.24%, education 4.05%, household goods and services 4.16% and recreation and amusement 4.25% in February 2018.

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