Inflation eases marginally to 5.07% in Jan

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After registering the highest growth in 17 months in November, the index of industrial production (IIP) may remain robust in December, lead indicators point out.

As the recovery momentum is seen in some key segments, industrial output grew by 7.1 per cent in the December month on the back of robust performance by sectors such as manufacturing, capital goods and non-durable consumer goods.

The other big driver for IIP's growth was consumer non-durables comprising mainly of fast moving consumer goods that recorded a growth of 16.5 per cent in December 2017.

Manufacturing sector grew 8.4 per cent in December as against 0.6 per cent a year ago.

So they expect a soft core CPI print, seeing the year-on-year rate edge down to 1.7% from 1.8% thanks in part to a high base effect created by a strong core CPI reading in January 2017.

Consumer price inflation slowed to 5.07 percent in January from 5.21 percent in December.

RBI projected a rate of 5.1% for March and indicated that for the first half of next fiscal year the inflation rate would be around 5.5-5.6%.

Meanwhile, the primary goods sector grew 6.2 per cent in December 2017, while intermediate goods expanded by 6.2 per cent and infrastructure goods increased by 6.7 per cent.

The report on Tuesday also revealed that consumer price inflation (CPI) in the United Kingdom remains unchanged from December and had an annual rate of 3.0% in January higher than the forecast of 2.9% from most economists.

However, on a year-on-year basis, the manufacturing sector expanded by a healthy 8.4 per cent, while the mining sector's output inched up by 1.2 per cent and the sub-index of electricity generation increased by 4.4 per cent.

"There is no breathing space for Mark Carney and the Bank of England who continue to battle with high inflation, though at least that figure has steadied and not risen further".

Oxford Economics lead United Kingdom economist Martin Beck said: "A fall in annual CPI inflation last December to 3% from the previous month's 3.1% was only the second month in 2017 to see a decline in the CPI rate".

The rising trend in inflation, however, seems to have supported a pick-up in industrial production, with the index of industrial production rising to 7.1 per cent in December.

It follows last month's fall in inflation from 3.1% to 3%, although this is still above the Bank of England's 2% inflation target.

Economists said the stubbornly high inflation in January meant United Kingdom households were faced in the near-term with falling living standards and rising mortgage bills.