First came the forecast by the Indian Meteorological Department that after two straight years of drought, India is likely to be showered with above-normal rains during the upcoming monsoon  season, with a probability of more than 94 percent precipitation.

Then came the twin dose of positive news from the Central Statistics Office that India's factory output for February logged a growth of 2 percent after three straight months of decline, even as annual retail inflation fell to 4.83 percent in March from 5.26 percent in February.

The annual food inflation for the month also showed a decline to 5.21 percent from 5.30 percent. But the manufacturing sector continued to be pressured, barely managing a growth of 0.7  percent in February, as per data released by the Central Statistics Office yesterday.
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Data on consumer price index also showed that for rural India, the annual inflation fell to 5.7 percent from 6.05 percent, while for the urban dwellers, the price rise in the 12-month period till March was 3.95 percent, as opposed to 4.30 percent for the like previous ended February.

In the case of the Index for Industrial Production, the overall growth was mainly led by a 9.6 percent growth in electricity output, even as mining activity in February --  the latest period for which data is available -- expanded by 5 percent.

The markets appear to have sensed the positive outcomes. The sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE was rather flat for the bulk of the day. But as soon as the predictions on monsoon came, it shot up to eventually end with a gain of 0.49 percent.

On Monday, it had gained 1.41 percent. Data on industrial production and retail inflation came after the close of trading hours.India Inc. was naturally elated by the forecast on the upcoming rainy season.

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