NEW DELHI: India’s industrial output in February this year witnessed 4.5 per cent growth, touching a seven-month high, on account of revival in the manufacturing sector. This was before the government imposed the nationwide lockdown to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.The country’s industrial output had grown at 0.2 per cent in February 2019.
According to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data released by the government on April 9, the manufacturing sector grew at 8.1 per cent in February, against 1.5 per cent growth in January.
Mining output grew 10 per cent in February, against 4.4 per cent in the previous month.
“Industrial growth recorded a broad-based and sharper-than-expected pick-up to a seven-month high of 4.5 per cent in February 2020, suggesting that some parts of the economy were on the path of a gradual revival prior to the escalation of Covid-19 crisis,” said Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA.
The growth of primary products was 7.4 per cent in February against a growth of 1.8 per cent in January. Capital goods production during the month under review contracted 9.7 per cent, against a contraction of 4.3 in January 2020. Consumer durables contracted 6.4 per cent in February against a 4 per cent contraction in the month before, which means households are not buying enough.
Electricity production grew 8.1 per cent in February against 3.1 per cent growth in January.
The slowdown, along with fresh lockdown imposed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, has further confirmed fears of a deepening slowdown in the economy.
“Social distancing and lockdowns are likely to result in a considerable industrial contraction in March 2020, particularly in manufacturing and electricity, which would likely intensify in April 2020,” Nayar said.According to government data, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 4.7 per cent in the October-December quarter of FY 2019-20.