Industrial production grew faster than 7% while consumer inflation eased to 4.3% providing a double boost to the economy. The manufacturing sectors production surged 8.7% in February 2018, contributing to the overall growth in equity market. However, the growth of electricity generation output moderated to 4.5%, while the mining output declined 0.3% in February 2018.
As per the use-based classification, capital goods output zoomed 20% in February 2018 over a year ago, while the output of Infrastructure/ construction goods also surged 12.6% in February 2018. The output of consumer durables moved up 7.9%, while that of consumer non-durable durables surged 7.4%. However, the output of primary goods rose at slower pace of 3.7% and intermediate goods at 3.3% in February 2018.
In terms of industries, fifteen out of the twenty three industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during the month of February 2018 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. The industry group other transport equipment has shown the highest positive growth of 32.0% followed by 26.9% in machinery and equipment and 19.9% in motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers. On the other hand, the industry group other manufacturing has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 27.3% followed by (-) 9.4% in printing and reproduction of recorded media and (-) 8.2% in rubber and plastics products.
The all-India general CPI inflation eased marginally to five-month low of 4.28% in March 2018 (new base 2012=100), compared with 4.44% in February 2018. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 4.44% and urban area 4.12% in March 2018 as against 4.45% and 4.52% in February 2018.
The core CPI inflation increased to 5.23% in March 2018, after remaining flat for previous three straight months at 5.03% in February 2018. The cumulative CPI inflation has declined to 3.59% in April-March FY2018 compared with 4.52% in April-March FY2017.
Among the CPI components, inflation of food and beverages eased to 3.01% in March 2018 from 3.46% in February 2018 mainly contributing to the decline in CPI inflation. Within the food items, the inflation fell for vegetables to 11.70%, sugar and confectionery (-) 1.61%, milk and products 3.52%, meat and fish 3.17%, egg 7.47% and prepared meals, snacks, sweets etc to 4.44%. However, the inflation jumped for pulses and products (-) 13.41%, oils and fats 1.85%, spices (-) 0.07%, fruits 5.78% and cereals and products 2.18% in March 2018.