27 Jun 2017

Inflation on the way down

A new data series for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) showed growth of 3.1% in April compared to 3.8% in March. The figure was depressed by seasonal weakness in Capital Goods, which contracted by 1.3%. Numbers may be subdued in the current quarter because of traders discounting heavily to move stock before they have to adjust for GST on July 1st. This may offset any benefit from remonetization, but the combination of remonetization, restocking and rising consumer confidence from a good monsoon may deliver a sharp recovery in Q2FY18. Inflation figures for May showed a sharp fall as CPI came in at 2.2%, mostly driven by a decline of 1.1% in food prices; fuel and power prices rose. Core CPI rose by 4.1% but the below target figures were not enough to prompt any policy rate reduction by the RBI. In fact the MPC minutes showed quite strong resistance. Net Income Tax receipts for FY18 up to June 15 are showing an increase of more than 26% to almost $16bn.

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