Free Press Journal

India’s industrial output contracts 0.5 percent


New Delhi: India’s industrial output contracted by 0.5 percent in March from a negative 1.9 percent in the previous month due to a sharp drop in manufacturing and mining activity, government data showed Monday.

The cumulative growth of the industrial production for the April-March 2013-14 period declined by 0.1 percent from a growth of 1.1 percent in the corresponding period of last fiscal, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) here.

The industrial output, measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), posted a healthy growth of 3.5 percent in March 2013.

Manufacturing production contracted by 1.2 percent in the month under review from 4.3 percent in March 2013, while mining production decreased by 0.4 percent from a negative 2.1 percent on a year-on-year basis.

“The outlook for the manufacturing sector, as things stand, seems to be disappointing and bleak,” said Sidharth Birla, president,  Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

“Industry is looking at announcements in new Budget and Foreign Trade Policy to boost manufacturing and investment, and we hope there will be supporting steps from the Reserve Bank on the monetary policy side.”

However, electricity production jumped by 5.4 percent from a growth of 3.5 percent in March.

In terms of industries, 12 out of the twenty two industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown negative growth in March.

As per use-based classification, the growth rates in March 2014 over the corresponding month of 2013 are 4.00 percent in basic goods and 0.6 percent in intermediate goods.

However, capital goods slumped by 12.5 percent.

The consumer durables contracted by 11.8 percent, while consumer non-durables grew by 7.2 percent, overall consumer goods dropped by 0.9 percent.

Segment-wise growth was witnessed in leather garments (146.4 percent), heat exchangers’ (87.1), sugar machinery (79.2), stainless steel (55.6 percent), lubricating oil (45.5 percent), vitamins (29.8 percent) and scooters and mopeds (28.7 percent).

Segment-wise, high negative growth was reported in aluminium conductor (-61.4 percent), woollen carpets (-40 percent), boilers (-37.8 percent), telephone instruments including mobile phones and accessories(-36.9 percent), ship building and repairs (31 percent), computers (-30.2 percent), earth moving machinery (27.6 percent), commercial vehicles (-24 percent) and generator (-21.1 percent).