India's annual monsoon rains, vital to the trillion-dollar economy's farm output and economic growth, were 11.1 per cent below normal for June 1-23, sources at the weather office said 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 per cent, and provide room to ease curbs on rice and wheat exports.