NEW DELHI: The country’s core sector output grew at 5.7 % in February due to sharp pick-up in natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, cement and electricity generation.
The eight sectors - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity - comprising nearly 38% of India’s total industrial production, had grown at 2.3 per cent in February last year. It is the highest growth since November 2014, when these sectors had witnessed a growth of 6.7 per cent.
According to industry experts, there is not always a one-to-one relationship between core sector industries and the IIP. Many other segments, particularly capital goods, are volatile. For instance, the core sector rose at the same rate of 3.2 per cent in September and October 2015 but the IIP rose 3.5 per cent in September and 9.9% in October. Similarly, core sector industries declined in November but rose in December and January; however, IIP contracted in each of these three months.“Overall, the latest print was an encouraging number and would likely imply a good number for IIP though we are still waiting for stronger signals of a recovery on the infra side,” said Rishi Shah, Economist, Deloitte India
Electricity generation grew at 9.2 per cent and on a reasonably good base of 5.9 per cent. However, its performance was volatile in recent months. Crude oil grew by 0.8%, natural gas by 1.2%, refinery products by 8.1 per cent, fertiliser by 16.3 %, cement by 13.5 per cent in February, year-on-year.
Coal production, however, dipped to 3.9% from 10.8% in February 2015. The steel sector remained hammered with negative growth of 0.5%, clearly indicating continued lack of demand and excessive competition from imports.
Retail inflation eases to 5.53%
Retail inflation for industrial workers eased to 5.53 per cent in February compared to 5.91 per cent in January due to softening of price of food items. “The year-on-year inflation measured in terms of Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) stood at 5.53 per cent in February, 2016 compared to 5.91 per cent for the previous month and 6.3 per cent in the corresponding month of the previous year,” a Labour Ministry statement said here on Thursday.