Reflecting a slowdown, the growth of eight core sectors slipped to 3.6 per cent in June, weighed down by contraction in natural gas, fertilizer and steel output.

The key infrastructure sectors had grown 5.6 per cent in the same month last year.

The growth in May, too, moderated to 4 per cent from 5.9 per cent in the same month last year.

The cumulative expansion of these industries in April-June 2012 slowed to 3.6 per cent from 5.2 per cent in the same period last year, according to official data released here on Wednesday.

The eight industries include crude oil, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel and have a weight of 37.9 per cent in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Economic slowdown

Economists said the poor performance of core industries clearly pointed to economic slowdown. These numbers would have implications on industrial production data for June to be released later this month.

“The core sector numbers are very poor. It will have its effect on IIP as well,” Principal Economist D. K. Joshi said.

Natural gas and crude oil production contracted by 11.1 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively, in June.

Steel and fertilizer production shrunk by 0.5 per cent and 11.7 per cent, respectively, during the month.

However, coal, cement and petroleum refinery output grew by 7.2 per cent, 10.2 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively.

Hit hard by global woes and domestic problems, India’s economic growth rate slowed to a nine-year low, both in the March quarter, at 5.3 per cent, as well as for the 2011-12 fiscal, at 6.5 per cent, prompting industry to demand immediate and bold action to arrest slowdown.

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