Project cost index eases in July

-Dr. M.S.Kapadia


ERIL Index of Cost of Project Inputs declined nominally during July, probably reflecting some lull in projects investment due to intensification of monsoon rains. The final estimates of consolidated project outlay indices, made available after two months of provisional estimates, have tended to be higher (relative to provisional numbers). The y-o-y increase in the project cost index worked out to 2.3 per cent in July, against 0.3 per cent over corresponding period a year ago. Production of capital goods was up by 14 per cent in April-June, against 4 per cent decline in the year ago period. Production of cement increased 10 per cent during April-June, thrice the measure a year ago. Alloy, non-alloy steel output has however slowed to 2 per cent, a seventh of the rate a year ago. The WPI for manufactured products, which conceptually set the stage for project investment, increased annually 3.7 per cent in July, against around 2.8 per cent a year ago. Computed by Economic Research India Pvt. Ltd., the ERIL Index measures project cost escalation in terms of WPI of material inputs relevant in project construction


Trends in July

The combined wholesale price index for non-metallic mineral products rose 0.5 per cent during the month due to 2 per cent price rise in bricks & tiles and marbles.


The aggregate WPI for basic metals, alloys & metal products declined by 0.2 per cent due to lower price of ferro manganese (3 per cent) and HRC, gold & gold ornaments, melting scrap, billets, ferro silicon and plates (1 per cent each). However, the price of steel rods escalated 4 per cent, wire rods 2 per cent and pressure cooker 1 per cent.


The total WPI for machinery & machine tools inched up 0.1 per cent due to one per cent price rise in hydraulic equipment, battery dry cells, fans, insulators and magnets. However, the price of fibre optic cable dropped 12 per cent, cranes 2 per cent and rubber machinery one per cent.

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