Skip to main content

Timely refresh: on the growth of industrial output (hindu)

The data set revision for the IIP and WPI reflects a macroeconomic resilience

The latest revisions to the base year for the Index of Industrial Production and the Wholesale Price Index reveal an overall macroeconomic picture that is at once heartening, given the underlying resilience reflected in the data. IIP data founded on the new base year of 2011-12 show that industrial output has grown annually at an average pace of 3.82% over the last five fiscal years, with a 5% rate of growth in the 12 months ended March 2017. Contrast this with the 1.42% average pace based on the previous 2004-05 base year, with 2016-17 showing a paltry 0.7% expansion. It is clear that the change in the base year with accompanying changes to weights of the component sectors, and restructuring of the individual sectoral constituents have all helped signal industrial activity as having been far more robust over the entire time period than had been previously posited. The caveats and explanations too need to be mentioned upfront. For one, the simultaneous updating of the base year for WPI to the same 2011-12 means the deflator applied to the 109 items captured in value terms in the new IIP (54 in the older series) has also changed, with a more benign wholesale inflation reading automatically lifting the value of the corresponding industrial item. Also, the Central Statistics Office makes clear that the growth rates of the two series are not strictly comparable since the indices for 2011-12 have been normalised to 100 at a monthly level. The breadth and relatively contemporary nature of the data capture — with an increase in the number of reporting factories and the exclusion of shuttered units and restructuring of the items basket — has meant that the information is now appreciably more representative.

Manufacturing sees its weight in the index raised by slightly more than 2 percentage points to 77.63%, while electricity, which now includes renewable sources, has had its weight pared to just under 8% in the new series. And most interestingly, a mechanism in the form of a Technical Review Committee has been put in place to periodically review the products featuring in the item list and to revise the series dynamically. The reviews, to be undertaken separately for both the IIP and the WPI, will help ensure that data pertaining to industrial output and wholesale price inflation will be relatively current and more accurately reflect economic trends. It would be interesting to see to what extent the recent divergence between the IIP and the GDP numbers will narrow, or even disappear, with the new series. While the significance of the IIP figures as a policy determinant cannot be overstated, especially given that the RBI considers it as a key gauge of economic health while reviewing its monetary stance, all data will finally need to stand the scrutiny of consistency and credibility against the conditions prevailing on the ground.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…