`Monsoon rains 11.1% below normal`
New Delhi: India`s annual monsoon rains, vital to the trillion-dollar economy`s farm output and economic growth, were 11.1 cent below normal for June 1-23, sources at the weather office told a news agency on Thursday.
"We are still hopeful of an improvement in rainfall by June end," a senior official at the India Meteorological Department, who could not be named, as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said.
On Wednesday, the Met office said India`s annual monsoon rains were 9.4 per cent below normal for June 1-22 and countrywide rainfall was at 93.2 mm against a normal 102.9 mm.
Weather experts said the double-digit deficiency in rainfall hinted at a slow progress of the monsoon, but such weak phases were not unusual.
Policymakers are hoping good rains, after last year`s drought, will help rein in inflation, currently at more than 10 percent, and provide room to ease curbs on rice and wheat exports.
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