Growth in eight infrastructure industries slowed to 2.3 per cent in April mainly due to contraction in crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser output. The core industries had expanded at a rate of 5.7 per cent in the same period last year.

The combined index of the eight core industries — coal, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — was 152.2 in April, 2013 with a growth rate of 2.3 per cent, according to an official data.

“The decline in the growth rate in April, 2013 was mainly on account of negative growth witnessed in the production of crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser,” the data by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said. These three key segments had registered a contraction or negative growth in April, 2012 as well.

The contraction in production of crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser in April this year was 1.2 per cent, 17.4 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.

Coal output during the month under review grew by 3.1 per cent as against 5.9 per cent last year.

Petroleum refinery production showed an expansion of 5.6 per cent. However, the growth was subdued as compared to 20.8 per cent registered in April 2012.

Steel production grew by 1.9 per cent as against 2.3 per cent; cement output was up by 8.3 per cent against 12.5 per cent. Growth in electricity generation was 3.1 per cent, lower than 5.4 per cent expansion registered in the April 2012.

The growth in eight infrastructure industries was 3.2 per cent in 2012-13 as against 5 per cent in the previous financial year.