Economy
November's negative IIP, December's 15-month high CPI inflation shocking
The sharp decline in IIP number in November and retail inflation during December to a 15-month high, have got investors deeply worried
 
After an impressive 9.87% growth in October that triggered hopes of a recovery, India's factory output declined by 3.19% in the following month into the negative territory, due to a (-) 4.4% drop in manufacturing activity. In addition, the 15-month high consumer price index (CPI) inflation in December have come as a shocker, says a research report.
 
According to a research note from Religare Capital Markets Ltd, the IIP number for November 2015 surprised on the downside at -3.2% as against its consensus estimate or 0.4%/2.5%. "While a slower growth was largely expected on account of a shift in festive season to November this year from October last year, a decline in production was completely unanticipated. This is the steepest fall in IIP since October 2011," it said.
 
 
During November, manufacturing output tanked by 4.4%, registering the sharpest decline in past 12 months. The decline was broad-based; output of 16 of the 22 manufacturing industries contracted. Manufacturing output usually contracts by about 5% in the festive month on a month-on-month (MoM) basis owing to fewer working days. However, the MoM decline in November 2015 was much steeper at 8.6%, suggesting that non-seasonal factors may be at play.
 
According to Nomura, the sharp contraction in IIP is an aberration, as underlying industrial growth is still positive, though this growth appears to have lost some momentum towards the end of 2015.
 
Inflation
 
According to the numbers on CPI released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the annual rate of inflation, moved further to 5.61% in December from 5.41% a month earlier. The official data further showed that prices of pulses were up 45.92% over those prevailing during the past year. This is the third consecutive month, in which, inflation in pulsed remained over 40%.
 
 
"The rise in food inflation is worrisome given that Rabi sowing continues to lag and Rabi output is likely to decline on productivity concerns. Besides, core, excluding food and fuel and power, inflation also edged up to 5% in November from 4.9% in previous month, as inflation across the health and transport and communication segments firmed up," Religare said in the report.
 
On monetary policy, Nomura says it expect the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to deliver a 25 basic points (bps) repo rate cut to 6.50% against status quo earlier, owing to lower commodity prices and slower industrial momentum. "Although an inter-meeting cut cannot be ruled out, our base case is for an April cut. Beyond that, we expect the RBI to stay on hold as there are upside risks to its medium-term inflation target," it concluded.

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Comedian Kiku arrested, sent to 14-day judicial custody
Chandigarh : Actor Kiku Sharda, known for his comic role in popular TV show "Comedy Nights with Kapil", was sent to 14 days judicial custody on Wednesday, a day after his arrest in Mumbai.
 
"He was booked for hurting the religious sentiments of the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sect on December 31," an officer of Haryana Police, which made the arrest, said here. 
 
A complaint was filed against Kiku by a follower of the sect, the officer said.
 
Kiku was arrested by a Haryana Police team while he was shooting a new episode of the show in Mumbai on Tuesday evening.
 
He was brought to Kaithal town in Haryana, 135 km from here, on Wednesday by police and produced before a court which sent him on judicial remand.
 
Kiku was accused by sect follower Uday Singh of dressing up like controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The episode was aired on December 27.
 
The actor had apologized, saying he never intended to hurt anyone.
 
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday refused to be drawn into the controversy.
 
"The government has no role. A complaint was filed with the police and action followed. The police will act as per law," Khattar said here.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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After IS threat, Pune anti-terror unit tightens security
Pune : Security was tightened in and around Anti-Terrorist Squad headquarters here after ATS Pune and Mumbai offices received threats allegedly by the terror group Islamic State (IS), an official said on Wednesday.
 
The letter threatened that Assistant Commissioner of Police (ATS-Pune) Bhanupratap Barge and his family would be eliminated, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) Shrikant Phatak here.
 
"The (two) threat letters were sent to the Mumbai Police Commissonerate and an English newspaper office by post 12 days ago from Mulund and Dharavi. We received these four days ago after which we launched a probe," Phatak told the media here.
 
Mumbai police said the letter envelopes bore the postal marks of Mulund and Dharavi, but were unsure whether the contents of the letters or sender details were similar.
 
Barge was in the limelight in early December after he prevented radicalisation of a Pune college girl.
 
The 16-year-old Class XI (first-year junior college) student was allegedly fascinated by the IS ideology and got in touch with about 200 people around the world through the internet.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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