New Delhi:The Economic Survey 2017 -18 placed in Parliament by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday paints a rosy picture on the economic scenario of the country with inflation dropping to the six-year low of 3.3 per cent.
It says that average retail inflation during the current fiscal ending March, 2018 is 3.3 per cent, which is the lowest in the past six financial years. The finance minister has tabled the document as a prelude of presenting the Modi government’s last full budget on February 1.
The survey also says that decline in the inflation was broad-based across major commodity group except Housing and Fuel, and light. The Headline inflation was below four per cent for 12 straight months, from November 2016 to October 2017 and it was on average around one per cent during April – December in the current financial year.
It observes that the economy has witnessed a gradual transition from a period of high and variable inflation to more stable prices in the last few years. Headline inflation measured by the CPI has remained under control for the fourth successive year.
In fact, says the document, the decline in the inflation in the first half of the current fiscal year was indicative of the benign food inflation which ranged between (-) 2.1 to 1.5 per cent. Survey says ‘’ This has been possible due to good agricultural production coupled with regular price monitoring by the government.’’
However, the rise in food inflation in recent months is mainly due to factors driving prices of vegetables and fruits. In rural areas while the food was main driver of CPI inflation during 2016-17, in urban areas housing sector has contributed the most to inflation in the current financial year.
The survey found that many states witness sharp fall in CPI inflation. Inflation in 17 States was below 4 per cent, during the period. This has been possible due to various efforts made to contain inflation at various level by the Government
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