The consumer price inflation (CPI) for the month of January further declined to 2.05 per cent on the back of continued deflation in food items and fall in fuel inflation. Industrial production jumped to 2.4 per cent in December, 2018 from 0.5 per cent in November, 2018 driven mainly by a sharp spike in manufacturing index which rose to 2.7 per cent vs -0.4 per cent month-on-month. A Reuters poll of 30 economists had predicted CPI to have accelerated to 2.48 per cent in January. This is the sixth straight month where the inflation has remained below the RBI's medium term target of 4 per cent. The CPI for the month of December was revised to 2.11 per cent from the earlier figure of 2.19 per cent. The core inflation also fell to 5.4 per cent in January from 5.7 per cent in December alleviating some concerns over stickiness in non-food, non-fuel inflation. The Reserve Bank of India, in its sixth bimonthly policy review, revised downwards the path of inflation to 2.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018-19, 3.2-3.4 per cent in first-half of 2019-20 and 3.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2019-20, with risks broadly balanced around the central trajectory. It also projected the inflation outlook to remain soft in the near term while flagging certain risks which merit "careful monitoring" beyond near term. These include reversal in vegetable prices, uncertainty in trade tensions and geopolitics which could impact commodity prices among others.
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