Eight core sectors grew to a six-month high of 5.2 per cent in September, helped by a robust performance in coal, natural gas and refinery segments, official data showed yesterday (31 October). The eight infrastructure sectors – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity – had witnessed a growth of 5.3 per cent in September last year.
The expansion in September is highest since April, when the core sectors’ growth stood at 2.6 per cent. The production of coal, natural gas and refinery products rose by 10.6 per cent, 6.3 per cent and 8.1 per cent, respectively on annual basis, according to the data released by the commerce and industry ministry. Crude oil output registered a growth of 0.1 per cent during the month under review as compared to a contraction of 4.1 per cent in September 2016. On the other hand, growth rate of steel and cement production was slower in September this year as against the same month previous fiscal. Electricity generation recorded almost flat growth. However, fertiliser output recorded a degrowth during the month under review.
Cumulatively, the growth in the eight core sectors during April-September this fiscal slowed down to 3.3 per cent as against 5.4 per cent in the same period last fiscal. Healthy growth in key sectors would have positive implications on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) as these eight segments account for about 41 per cent to the total factory output. PTI
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