Stellar show by cement, electricity and refinery sectors

In a development that is bound to bring cheers to the government and industry, industrial growth in key infrastructure areas bounced back to 6.8 per cent in November after touching a five-year low of 0.3 per cent in October.

The positive news from the industrial production side could help in turning around the state of negativity that has surrounded the economic growth and its parameters in the last few months.

The turnaround in industrial production has been possible due to stellar growth in cement, electricity and refinery product segments, the eight infrastructure sectors, which have weightage of 38 per cent in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

However, due to lagging performance in the previous months, the April-November growth of core industries stood at 4.6 per cent as against 5.6 per cent in the same period last fiscal, according to the data released here on Tuesday. Except for crude oil, natural gas and fertilizers, all other segments registered a healthy growth in November.

The maximum growth was witnessed in cement, which expanded by 16.6 per cent, while there was a contraction of 4.3 per cent in the same period last fiscal.

Electricity and steel output grew by 14.1 per cent and 5.1 per cent against 3.5 per cent and 7.6 per cent, respectively, in the same month last year. Coal and petroleum refinery products growth went up by 4.9 per cent and 11.2 per cent during the month under reference.

However, crude oil and natural gas output contracted by 5.6 per cent and 10.1 per cent from a positive growth of 17 per cent and 5.5 per cent, year-on-year, respectively.

The core sector, in October, registered a dismal growth of 0.3 per cent. This slowdown in the industry output was evident from the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures. The economic growth stood at 6.9 per cent (the lowest in the past nine quarters) during the July-September quarter. The economic growth in the first half of the current fiscal slowed down to 7.3 per cent from 8.6 per cent in the year ago period.