September Sees CPI-Based Inflation Drop to 5.02%, August IIP Growth Soars to 10.3%
India’s retail inflation, as gauged by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), saw a significant drop to 5.02% in
September, marking a three-month low, due to declining food prices, according to data released by the
National Statistics Office (NSO) on October 12. This decrease brought the inflation rate back within the
Reserve Bank of India’s comfort zone of below 6%, after a hiatus of two months. In July 2023, India’s CPI
was at 7.44%, while in August 2023, it stood at 6.83%. The decline in food prices was evident, with food
inflation dropping to 6.56% in September from 9.67% in August. Rural areas experienced slightly higher
inflation at 5.33%, in contrast to urban areas where inflation was at 4.65% in September. Specific sectors
also showed varied inflation rates, such as cereals and products at 10.95%, meat and fish at 4.11%, milk and
products at 6.89%, fruits at 7.3%, and vegetables at 3.39%. Core inflation, which excludes the volatile
components of food and fuel, reached a 42-month low of 4.5% in September, indicating a widespread easing
of underlying price pressures. The journey of CPI inflation in recent months has been remarkable, starting
with a spike to a 15-month high of 7.44% in July, partly due to soaring tomato prices. Just two months later,
it decreased by almost one-third, once again, thanks to the influence of the humble tomato.
In August, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) exhibited a notable growth of 10.3%, a significant increase
from the 5.7% recorded in July. This surge came after a decline of -0.7% in August 2023, as reported by the
National Statistical Office (NSO). The data indicated a robust performance in various sectors: manufacturing
output rose by 9.3%, mining production increased by 12.3%, and power generation experienced a substantial
growth of 15.3% in August 2023. Specifically, the indices for primary goods, capital goods, intermediate
goods, and infrastructure/construction goods stood at 145.4, 107.0, 156.1, and 175.5 respectively.
Additionally, the indices for consumer durables and consumer non-durables were recorded at 122.8 and
147.0 respectively for the same period in August 2023.