Core sectors’ growth slides to 2.1 per cent

New Delhi: The growth of eight core sectors slowed down to 2.1 per cent in February due to fall in output of crude oil and refinery products, official data showed. According to the data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Eight Core Industries (ECI)– coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — had expanded by 5.4 per cent in February 2018.

However, on a sequential basis, the index rose marginally to 2.1 per cent in February from 1.5 per cent in January 2019. Production of crude oil and refinery products contracted by 6.1 per cent, and 0.8 per cent, respectively, in February.

Growth rate of production of fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity slowed to 2.5 per cent, 4.9 per cent, 8 per cent and 0.7 per cent in February as against 5.2 per cent, 5 per cent, 23 per cent and 4.6 per cent in the same month of 2018, respectively.
The core sector index carries 40.27 per cent weight of the items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

“The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 125.8 in February 2019, which was 2.1 per cent higher as compared to the index of February 2018. Its cumulative growth during April to February, 2018-19 was 4.3 per cent,” the Ministry said in a statement. However, coal and natural gas output grew by 7.3 per cent, and 3.8 per cent, respectively, in the month under review.

Sluggish infrastructure sector growth will also have impact on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) as these segments account for about 41 per cent of the total factory output. According to the Commerce and Industry Ministry data, during April-February 2018-19, the eight sectors recorded a flat growth rate of 4.3 per cent over the same period previous fiscal.

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