Belying hopes of a nascent recovery, industrial production contracted 1.9 per cent year-on-year in February on account of the continuing sluggishness in the manufacturing sectors, including consumer durables and capital goods.
The dip was despite the power generation and mining sectors clocking an increase in output during the latest report month, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
During the 11-month period from April to February, factory output as measured by the index of industrial production (IIP) showed a 0.1 per cent dip, compared with growth of 0.9 per cent in the corresponding period a year earlier. Industrial output for January was revised upward to record a growth of 0.8 per cent from a provisional estimate of 0.1 per cent.
Factory output had started to dip in October, when the IIP contracted 1.2 per cent, and continued till December. In the latest data for February, manufacturing, which constitutes over 75 per cent of the index, declined 3.7 per cent as against growth of 2.1 per cent in the same month a year ago.
During April-February, the manufacturing sector’s output contracted 0.7 per cent compared with 1 per cent growth previously. Production of capital goods, a barometer of industrial activity, shrank a worrying 17.4 per cent, in sharp contrast to a growth in output of 9.1 per cent in the same month in 2012.
The segment declined 2.5 per cent in April-February over a contraction of 7.7 per cent in the comparable period. Overall, 13 of the 22 industry groups in manufacturing showed negative growth in February. Output of consumer goods declined 4.5 per cent in February compared with growth of 0.8 per cent a year earlier.