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15 May 2017, 12:57 | Mildred Bowen
Economists expect the RBI to keep its policy rate unchanged this year
Retail inflation, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), dropped to 2.99 per cent in April over past year, mainly due to lower cost of food items, including pulses and vegetables.
The poll of more than 30 economists predicts inflation fell to a three-month low of 3.49 percent in April from 3.81 percent the previous month.
Food price inflation stood at 0.61 per cent in April 2017 against 2.01 per cent in March and 6.40 per cent in April previous year.
Fruit prices grew at 3.78% in April, lower than 9.35% in the previous month, according to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) data, released on Friday.
"A new food index is being compiled combining the food articles under primary articles and food products under manufactured products".
However, manufacturing output grew slower at 1.2 per cent from 1.4 per cent reported for February 2017.
The new base year 2011-12 for calculating key macroeconomic indicators will provide a more realistic picture and reflect market realities, India Inc today said, even as the new series of data showed decline in both inflation for April and IIP growth for March. The 2004-05 series had 620 items (397 item groups).
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Food price inflation for rural areas stood at 0.69 per cent in April 2017 against 1.85 per cent in March and 6.66 per cent in April 2016.
"The growth in the manufacturing sector has seen a marked improvement under the new series which only raises the hope of having a high growth of the sector in coming months as measures taken by the Government yields results" said Mr. Patel.
A high-level panel had firmed up the methodology for the IIP with new base year of 2011-12. In March, the two items recorded a deflation of 12.42 and 7.24%.
Talking to press, T.C.A Ananth, Chief Statistician of India said that The IIP data is now being calculated with a revised base year of 2011-2012 to make the comparison more relevant.
The base year reset is expected to bring in more accuracy in measuring the level of economic activity as well the national income.
"The divergence between the data of the IIP, Annual Survey of Industries and the manufacturing estimates in the gross domestic product will now be somewhat narrowed but not completely eliminated", he said, pointing out that the IIP is a volume concept.
When inquired about the services whether included in the new series, Abhishek added, "DIPP is working on a separate index for services, which is likely to be released in the next few months".
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