In what may signal the beginning of an economic turnaround, the eight core infrastructure sectors fared better in May with a growth rate of 3.8 per cent to mark an improvement over the paltry 2.2 per cent increase in output in April.
As the infrastructure sector had witnessed a higher growth of 5.8 per cent in May, 2011, the cumulative growth of the eight industries in April-May this fiscal year turned out to be lower at 3.4 per cent as compared to the five per cent increase logged for the same two months of 2011-12.
Since the eight sectors, namely, coal, crude oil, natural gas, fertilizers, petroleum refinery products, electricity, cement and finished steel, have a weight of 37.9 per cent in the IIP (Index of Industrial Production) basket, there is some hope that the improved performance during the month will also reflect in the overall industrial growth numbers. “The numbers are better than April. It would help in the improvement of the IIP numbers,” Crisil’s principal economist D. K. Joshi said.
According to the official data released here, output of cement and coal went up by 11.3 per cent and eight per cent, respectively, during May as compared to the same moth last year. The performance of all other sectors worsened when compared to May, 2011, but was better than April this year.
While production of natural gas and fertiliser during May contracted by 10.8 per cent and 15.1 per cent, respectively, the output growth of petroleum refinery products and crude oil decelerated to 2.9 per cent and 0.5 per cent from 4.5 per cent and 9.8 per cent during May, 2011. Likewise, the output growth rates of steel and electricity also slipped to 4.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent in May this year as compared to expansion of eight per cent and 10.3 per cent achieved in May, 2011.
Keywords: infrastructure sector