The industrial output, according to data released today, slipped to a 4-month low contracting by 1.2% in February because of decline in the manufacturing sector and lower offtake of capital as well as consumer goods.
The February output decrease was largely due to a 4.7 percent decline in energy production, perhaps reflecting mild weather, along with a 1.1 percent fall in output of non-durable consumer goods, a wide category including fresh vegetables and clothing.
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had registered a growth of 1.99 percent in February previous year.
Industrial output dropped 0.3 percent month-over-month in February, reversing a 0.3 percent rise in January, which was revised down from 0.9 percent.
The mining output rose by 3.3 per cent and that for electricity generation inched up by 0.3 per cent.
It was 4.83 percent in same month a year ago. "This clearly shows the fragile nature of industrial/ manufacturing growth which has been languishing consecutively for several years now", Sunil Kumar Sinha, Principal Economist, India Ratings & Research, said in a statement.
In comparison to the same month one year-ago, production was ahead by 1.2% (consensus: 1.9%).
Consumer food price inflation however, eased to 1.93 per cent in March as compared to 2.01 per cent in February. Also, the consumer price index-based inflation rose to a 5-month high of 3.81% in March against 3.65% in February.
Prepared meals, snacks and candies prices were also high as prices grew by 5.65 per cent.
In the consumer-durable segment, the output dipped by 0.9% in February against a growth of 10.4% in same month past year.
For the 11 month period to February of the last financial year, IIP growth was almost flat at 0.4 percent as against 2.6 percent a year ago. "The CPI reading for March 2017 is a positive surprise".
The rate of price rise in fuel and light was at 5.56 per cent.