Packaged atta, basmati rice, ice cream, condoms, LED TVs, smart phones and laptops have been included in the new industrial data, the government said on Friday, which will give a realistic picture of consumer demand as well as the growth in sun-rise industries.
The new data for index of industrial production (IIP), which was released by the government by including more products and switching the base year to 2011-12 from 2004-05, also includes commonly used household items such as pressure cooker, grinder, toaster and air coolers.
Indian consumers have over the past decade changed their food habits and consumption basket with the emergence of a flurry of new products and services.
While milk, butter and dahi were the only Indian made packaged dairy products available a decade ago, grocery stores are now bulging with flavoured milk, cheese, margarine, energy drinks and regional delicacies like Misti Doi or sweet curd.
Also, many industrial products such as smart phones, tablets and laptops are being manufactured in India as the Asia’s third-largest economy is embracing new technology
Recalling the old days when type-writers, black and white television sets and only two cars--Ambassador and Fiat--were part of the IIP data series of 1993-94, India Ratings chief economist Sunil Sinha said new products have come up and that has to reflect in the output and inflation data.
In the data series for 2004-05, the government included cars made by Maruti Suzuki and other companies, colour TVs and excluded type writers.
“Now, households are increasingly using fabricated furniture, CFL and LED bulbs,” said Sinha.
The new data series included two-wheelers, passenger cars, commercial vehicles, railway wagons and locomotives, and even ship building and parts.
The earlier WPI and IIP have lost relevance among policymakers as new products are replacing traditional items.
Two years ago, both the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India switched to the consumer price inflation from WPI as a measure of inflation to frame policies.
A government panel headed has recommended new item basket for IIP will include 55 mining products and 809 manufacturing products.