New Delhi: India's industrial production has experienced a slight expansion, resulting into cooling of consumer prices, offering some respite to the ruling coalition before the election.
Improved consumer demands helped industrial output expand 0.1 in January, the first growth in four months, data from statistics ministry showed on Wednesday.
The fall in December's output was revised to 0.17 percent on year from 0.6 percent earlier. Retail inflation eased for the third straight month to a 25-month low of 8.10 percent in February from 8.79 percent in vegetable prices.
The data showed production of consumer goods, a proxy for consumer demand, contracted an annual 0.6 percent in January. "Today's data show India's beleaguered economy moving in the right direction, but still far from healthy," said Miguel Chanco, India Economist at Capital Economics in Singapore.
Asia's third-largest economy has been struggling to recover from a stagflation-type situation where economic growth has been stuck below 5 percent for the past seven quarters while price continue to rise at a fast clip.
Cooling prices will offer some relief to the government headed by the Congress party, which is trailing in opinion polls ahead of the polls that begin on April 7. It is still widely expected to be defeated, in part for its failure to control inflation and revive the economy.