FY '14 core sector growth at 2.6%; lowest in decade

FY '14 core sector growth at 2.6%; lowest in decade

The growth rate of eight core sector industries decelerated to 2.6 per cent in 2013-14, the lowest in almost a decade, due to a decline in crude oil and natural gas production.

The infrastructure industries in 2012-13 had registered 6.5 per cent growth. Experts said the figures are indicating a possible slowdown in industrial production.

"The slack core sector print in conjunction with the decline in merchandise exports in year-on-year terms points towards a likely industrial contraction in March 2014," rating agency ICRA said.

Crude oil and natural gas production in 2013-14 recorded a negative growth of 0.2 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.

Growth in the output of coal, petroleum refinery products and cement slowed down to 0.8 per cent, 1.7 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively.

However, fertiliser, steel and electricity recorded a relatively healthy growth.

In March, the core sector growth slowed to 2.5 per cent from 7 per cent in the same month a year ago.

The eight core industries have a combined weight of about 38 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production.

In the month under review, crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser output fell 1.6 per cent, 9.3 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively.

Growth in production of coal, petroleum refinery products and steel slowed to 0.7 per cent, 2.8 per cent and 5.4 per cent in March.

Cement output was unchanged in March. Electricity generation increased to 5.4 per cent. In January and February, the eight sectors grew by 1.6 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.

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