New Delhi: Describing the 2.4 percent industrial growth in February as bottoming out of the downturn, government on Tuesday hoped economic indicators would look up in the coming months.
"IIP figure is encouraging. But we have to do more, both on exports and industrial manufacturing. We feel the downturn is bottoming out," Industry Minister Anand Sharma said, while commenting on the industrial output numbers.
The IIP numbers for January suggested some recovery with the growth rate inching up to 2.4 percent, against 1 percent in the corresponding month a year ago. The growth rate was in the negative in November and December.
"The turnaround is very good. I would not call it strong growth but it does bear out that the economy has bottomed out. I would hope that subsequent months will show more robust growth ... It suggests that the bottoming out is over and we are hopefully getting back," said Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Finance Ministry, however, said there is a scope for easing of monetary policy to boost growth in view of moderation in WPI-based inflation.
"Inflation numbers have also come down so there is certainly a case for (giving) further impulses for growth," DEA Secretary Arvind Mayaram said. The WPI inflation in January stood at 6.62 percent.
RBI is scheduled to announce its mid-quarter review of monetary policy on March 19 and there is widespread expectation that the central bank will cut policy rates to boost growth.
Reacting to IIP numbers, he said there were signs that economic slowdown is bottoming out.
The economic growth rate, it may be mentioned, fell to a decade low of 4.5 percent in December quarter. The CSO has estimated the growth rate for the current fiscal at 5 percent.