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Retail inflation rose to a nine-month high of 11.24% in November 2013.

Industrial production entered the negative territory after three months, contracting by 1.8% in October 2013

 

Costlier fruits and vegetables such as onions and tomatoes pushed retail inflation to a nine-month high of 11.24% in November 2013, making it harder for the Reserve Bank to lower interest rates.

 

Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October was revised upwards to 10.17% from the preliminary estimate of 10.09%. Inflation in the food and beverages segment was 14.72% compared with 12.56% in the previous month.

 

Simultaneously, Industrial production entered the negative territory after three months, contracting by 1.8% in October 2013 mainly due to poor performance of the manufacturing sector. Factory output, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), grew by 8.4% in October 2012. The manufacturing sector constitutes over 75% of the index and it declined by 2% in October 2013 as against a growth of 9.9% a year ago.

 

In terms of industries, 10 out of 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown negative growth during the month of October 2013.

 

Power generation, however, posted a growth of 1.3% in the month under review compared to 5.5% a year ago. Expansion in power generation was at 5.3% in April-October as compared to 4.7% in the same period last year.

 

Meanwhile, IIP growth for September this year has been revised marginally to 1.96% from the provisional estimate of 2%.

 

The Reserve Bank, scheduled to announce its monetary policy review on 18 December 2013, hiked the key lending rate by 0.25% at each of its previous two policy reviews to contain inflation.

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