Finished steel leads the pack with 9.2 per cent growth

The six core infrastructure industries achieved a healthy growth of 7.2 per cent in March as compared to 3.3 per cent in March 2009, raising hopes of a robust overall industrial growth during the month.

The six sectors — crude, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel — having a combined weight of 26.7 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), not only improved upon its performance of 4.7 per cent growth in February but also led to a output increase of 5.5 per cent in April-March 2009-10 as against 3 per cent in the previous fiscal year.

Official data released here on Tuesday revealed that leading the core sector pack was finished steel with a production increase of 9.2 per cent as against a negative growth of 1.8 per cent in March 2009. Alongside, coal, electricity and cement posted identical growth of 7.8 per cent each during the month as compared to 5.3 per cent, 6.3 per cent and 10.1 per cent, respectively, last fiscal.

However, while crude oil production increased by 3.5 per cent from a negative growth of 2.3 per cent in March 2009, petroleum refinery products fared poorly with a 0.4 per cent contraction in output in March 2010 as compared to a 3.3 per cent rise witnessed a year ago.

Going the healthy performance of the core sector, analysts expect the overall industrial growth to be over 15 per cent in March also, after having maintained the robust trend for three months in a row till February.

Keywords: infrastructureIIP