Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Industrial output up by over 7% in February

Britain's factories suffered an unexpected drop in output during February Britain's factories suffered an unexpected drop in output during February
Preston Stone | 15 April, 2018, 17:56

Average quarterly growth in the euro zone in 2017 was 0.6 percent, but first-quarter growth would be lower, said Nicola Nobile, the lead euro zone economist at Oxford Economics. Manufacturing grew by 8.7 per cent marking fourth month of growth over 8.5 per cent.

But the EEF manufacturing association said February's dip in manufacturing output looked "more like a temporary wobble than a turn for the worse".

German industrial output slowed down sharply to 2.6% yoy in February 2018 from 6.6% in January and the expectations of the financial markets for a better growth of 4.4%. The IIP recorded a growth of 8.54 per cent in November, 7.1 per cent in December and 7.4 per cent in January, as per the revised data.

Capital goods output, which is a proxy to measure private sector investment activity, was 20 percent in February compared with 14.6 percent in January.

The weak report is fact just a day after German statistics provided data showing a rather sluggish increase in industrial and industrial orders in February, barely 0.3% compared with January, when they showed a healthy decline of 3.5%.

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Manufacturing output was 2.5 per cent higher than its level in February 2017, again less than the 3.3 per cent Reuters poll consensus, the ONS said. The output of intermediate goods which has the second highest weightage rose by 3.3 per cent.

Electricity production grew 4.5 percent in February, as compared 7.6 percent growth in January and 1.2 percent a year ago. In terms of industries, 15 out of the 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during February 2018.

"As expected, cooling food prices dampened the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to a five month low of 4.3% in March, bringing the average for the quarter in line with MPC's forecast of 4.5%", Nayar said. CPI, a key data factored in by the RBI to decide the interest rate, was 4.44 per cent in February.

As per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), inflation in the vegetables segment cooled to 11.7 percent in March from 17.57 percent in the previous month. The rate of price rise in the protein rich items like eggs, milk and other products too moderated in March as against the previous month.

The pace of economic growth slowed slightly in 2017 as higher inflation caused by the fall in sterling after the Brexit vote hurt consumers, although some exporters have gained from the weaker pound and the stronger euro zone economy. The CSO data further revealed that inflation in the fuel and light segment also came in lower at 5.73 percent on a month-on-month basis.

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