In a double whammy of sorts for the government and the central bank, which have been working to boost growth and keep prices under control, factory output slowed once again in March, while retail inflation climbed up in April.
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew negligibly at 0.1 per cent in March, pulled down by contraction in the mining and manufacturing sectors as well as a sharp decline in output of capital goods. IIP grew at 1.98 per cent in February after contracting for four straight months. “The cumulative growth for the period April to March 2015-16 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 2.4 per cent,” said an official release on Thursday. Worryingly, this is lower than the 2.8 per cent growth clocked in 2014-15. Mining and manufacturing sector output contracted by 0.1 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively, in March. Electricity production, however, grew a robust 11.3 per cent.