Growth in the core sectors of the economy slowed to 5.1% in May 2019 led by slowing growth in the coal and refinery products sector, according to official data released on Monday.
The Index of Eight Core Industries saw growth slowing in May from the nine-month high of 6.3% registered in April. Nevertheless, the growth in May is the highest since July 2018, not counting April.
Coal slows to 1.8%
The slowdown in May was led by the refinery sector, which saw a contraction of 1.5% compared with a growth of 4.3% in the previous month. The coal sector also saw growth slowing to 1.8% from 3.2% over the same period. The crude oil sector witnessed a continued contraction for the eighteenth consecutive month in May, with growth contracting 6.96% in that month compared with a contraction of 6.75% in April.
The natural gas sector remained flat in May, registering zero growth, compared with a contraction of 0.75% in April. The strongest performer of the eight sectors under consideration was the steel sector. The sector grew 19.8% in May, up from a growth of 18.97% in the previous month. The fertilizer sector contracted again in May, by 1.03%, compared with a contraction of 4.4% in April.
Cement growth subdued
The cement sector continued to witness subdued growth, of 2.75% in May, up marginally from the 2.28% seen in April.
The sector averaged a growth of 13.3% in financial year 2018-19. The electricity sector, further buoyed by increased demand in the summer months, grew 7.23% in May, compared with 5.99% in April.