Rising meals costs pushed retail inflation to an eight-month high of seven.34 per cent in September, above the RBI’s consolation degree, whereas industrial output continued to contract in August, official information confirmed on Monday. The heightened retail inflation forward of the festive season dims probabilities of a charge lower by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to increase progress hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdowns.
The decline in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was 10.8 per cent in July. The contraction in August stood at 8 per cent, as per the most recent information. Manufacturing sector manufacturing registered a decline of 8.6 per cent, whereas the output of mining and energy segments fell 9.8 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.
“It may not be appropriate to compare the IIP in the post pandemic months with the IIP for months preceding the COVID 19 pandemic,” the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation stated in a press release. “With the gradual relaxation of restrictions, there has been a relative improvement in the economic activities by varying degrees as well as in data reporting,” it added.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation was 6.69 per cent in August and three.99 per cent in September 2019. The earlier high in CPI was witnessed at 7.59 per cent in January 2020.
According to the CPI information launched by the National Statistical Office (NSO), the Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) crossed the double-digit mark and was at 10.68 per cent in September. It stood at 9.05 per cent in the earlier month.
Inflation in the vegetable section was 20.73 per cent in September, considerably up from 11.41 per cent in the previous month. Similarly, the speed of worth rise in fruits was high over August.
Icra’s economist Aditi Nayar stated the CPI inflation hardened past expectations in September. “Even though the high food inflation will eventually prove to be transient, with the favourable base effect and Kharif arrivals to soon initiate a downward trajectory, the average inflation figures for FY2021 as well as H2 FY2021 are likely to be uncomfortably high,” she stated.
Suman Chowdhury, Chief Analytical Officer, Acuite Ratings and Research, stated inflation print has come opposite to market expectations that unlocking of the economic system and easing of provide constraints will lead to easing of meals costs.
“Clearly, the supply constraints continue to exist despite a favourable monsoon and good agricultural production. Our concerns on the threat of stagflation appear to be getting stronger and while the RBI has communicated its decision on continuing with an accommodative environment well into next fiscal, such increasing levels of inflation will clearly be a concern for policymakers,” Chowdhury stated.
The authorities has tasked the RBI to hold the retail inflation at four per cent, with a margin of two per cent on both aspect. The inflation has been hovering above four per cent since October 2019. The RBI elements in the retail inflation whereas deciding the financial coverage.
Last week, whereas saying the financial coverage, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had stated retail inflation is predicted to stay shut to the focused degree by the final quarter of this fiscal.
Commenting on the manufacturing unit output numbers, Nish Bhatt, Founder and CEO, Millwood Kane International, stated industrial exercise will take a while to absolutely get better and be on the expansion path, which can rely upon the quantum of unlocking and demand decide up for industrial items.
Nikhil Gupta, Economist – Institutional Equities, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, stated: “Separately, IIP posted a fall of 8 per cent YoY in Aug’20, in line with the market consensus but lower than our expectation of (-) 10 per cent. All components posted slower decline in August’20 vis-a-vis the previous month.”
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced a Rs 73,000 crore bundle, together with advance cost of part of wages to central authorities staff and money in lieu of LTC, to stimulate shopper demand and funding in the economic system.