Food inflation rose to a 22-month high of 7.8% in June 2016 from 7.5% in the preceding month. Inflation rose on the back of a continuous and rapid increase in prices of vegetables since April 2016. Price shot up by 10% during June 2016. These ruled 14.7% above their year-ago level, this being a much higher inflation than 10.8% seen in the last month.
India’s current account deficit (CAD) shrunk to USD 22.1 billion in 2015-16 from USD 26.8 billion in the preceding year. This is the lowest deficit the country has witnessed during the last eight years. As a proportion of GDP also, the CAD, at 1.1% was, lower than the 1.3% in 2014-15. Also the ratio was the lowest since 2006-07.
New investment proposals fell to a new low in the quarter ended June 2016. Only 356 new investment projects with an outlay of over Rs. 10 million each were made during the quarter. This is the lowest level of new investment activity since June 2004; i.e. lowest in the past 12 years. The total value of new investment proposed during the June 2016 quarter was Rs. 1.25 trillion.
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Foreign investment inflows nearly halved to USD 2 billion in May 2016 as compared to the preceding month. Both net FDI inflows and net portfolio inflows suffered a setback during the month. Net FDI inflows declined by 23.3% to USD 1.6 billion in May 2016 compared to inflows of USD 2 billion in the preceding month. Direct investment to India plunged by 41.2% to USD 2.3 billion compared to inflows of USD 3.9 billion in April 2016. FDI by India contracted by 60.3% to just USD 747 million in May 2016 on m-o-m basis.
In June 2016, food inflation rose to a 22-month high of 7.8% from 7.5% in the preceding month. Inflation rose on the back of a continuous and rapid increase in prices of vegetables since April 2016. Prices shot up by 10% during June 2016. These ruled 14.7% above their year-ago level, this being a much higher inflation than 10.8% seen in last month.
Industrial output as measured by Index of Industrial output (IIP) rose by 1.2% on y-o-y basis in May 2016 after contracting 1.4% in the previous month. This was due to a mild improvement in the performance of the manufacturing sector. After contracting by 0.5% in the previous two months, manufacturing output rose by 0.7% in May 2016.
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The electricity industry witnessed a substantial rise in generation capacity during the year-ended March 2016. The power companies added 22,345.2 MW of generation capacity during the year. This was the fifth successive year in which the industry saw a capacity addition of more than 20,000 mw. During the year, thermal power capacity increased by 20,753.2 mw. The remaining, i.e. 1,592 mw was added in the hydel power segment.
The eight core index rose by 8.4% in April 2016, the steepest rise in the index recorded in the past 17 months. This was mainly on the back of a favorable base. The index had contracted by 0.2% in the year-ago month.
New investment proposals worth Rs. 15.4 billion were announced in the non-electrical machinery sector in the year 2015-16. This was much lower compared to the average incremental investment announcement of Rs. 56.3 billion in each of the previous five years. Companies in this sector have languished under a prolonged decline in demand. Moreover, multiple problems such as intense competition from cheaper imports, financial crunch and under utilization of installed capacities are likely to have prompted these companies to withhold their capacity addition plans.
Factory output growth fell into negative territory in April 2016 after two months of meager yet positive growth. The index of industrial production (IIP) contracted by 0.8% in April, after rising by 1.1% in the previous two months. The manufacturing sector played a dominant role in contraction of IIP in April. Output of the manufacturing sector declined by 3.1%. The other two sub-components; mining and electricity grew by 1.4% and 14.6% respectively.
Consumer price inflation rose to a 21-month high in May 2016. It jumped to 5.8% in May from 5.5% in the previous month. Rise in food inflation was the sole factor responsible for the rise in retail inflation. The core (Non-food, non-fuel) inflation fell to 4.8% from 5.1%.
The current account deficit (CAD) shrunk to USD 22.1 billion in 2015-16 from USD 26.8 billion in the preceding year. This is the lowest deficit the country has witnessed during the last eight years.