India's factory output expands at 7.1% in February vs 7.5% (MoM)

Britain's factories suffered an unexpected drop in output during February

Manufacturing output declined 0.2% on the month in February after a flat January, the first monthly fall in nearly a year.

Overall industrial output, which also includes energy production, went up 0.1% in February, after a 1.3% rise the previous month.

In further signs of a weak first quarter, the ONS said Wednesday that construction output declined in February, falling 1.6% on the month.

This can be taken as a transitory change mainly on account of lower output in mining sector, said DK Srivastava, chief policy advisor at EY.

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Manufacturing output in the United Kingdom fell on the month in February, adding to signs the economy had a slow start to 2018. In the latest three months, factory output rose 0.6%, the least since July. Consumer durables too grew at 7.9 per cent as against a contraction of 4.6 per cent in February 2017. As per use-based classification, the growth rates in February 2018 over February 2017 are 3.7 per cent in primary goods, 3.3 per cent in intermediate goods and 12.6 per cent in infrastructure/construction goods.

Retail inflation based on the Consumer Prime Index (CPI) moderated in March due to easing food prices, including vegetables.

However, the March 2018 inflation is higher than 3.89 per cent recorded in the same month a year ago. Overall, inflation in the food basket was 2.81%, lower than 3.26% in February. The earlier low at 3.58 per cent was recorded in October 2017.

The Bank of England is nevertheless expected to raise its benchmark interest rates to 0.75% when officials meet next month.

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However, mining output declined by 0.3 per cent against a growth 4.6 per cent earlier.

Last week, the RBI brought down its January-March FY18 inflation projection to 4.5% from at 5.1%. As per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), inflation in the vegetables segment cooled to 11.7 per cent in March from 17.57 per cent in the previous month.

Reacting to the macroeconomic data, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet: "The IIP for the manufacturing sector in February 2018 stands at 130.1 which is 8.7 per cent higher than in Feb 2017 with fifteen out of the twenty three industry groups showing positive growth".

Anis Chakravarty, lead economist and partner, Deloitte India said the downward growth movement of food inflation has had a larger-than-expected role to play in easing inflation prints. and improved monsoon prospects are likely to keep food inflation concerns at bay.

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Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg tweeted: "Another very good IIP growth number came out today".

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