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Coal,power drive core sector growth to 6.8%

Output from eight infrastructure industries touches 7-month high in February

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: March 30, 2012 12:48:13 am

Rebounding sharply from the 0.7 per cent growth clocked in January,the eight core infrastructure industries recorded a robust 6.8 per cent growth in output during February,led mainly by increased production in coal,electricity generation and refinery products.

This is the highest growth in the last seven months since July,when the eight core infrastructure industries — steel,coal,refinery products,natural gas,fertiliser,cement,electricity,crude oil that form 37.90 per cent of the index of industrial production (IIP) — surged by an impressive 7.9 per cent.

In February 2011,the core sector output had surged 6.4 per cent. The cumulative growth during April-February was recorded at 4.4 per cent as against 5.8 per cent during the same period in the last fiscal.

According to data released by the government today,while coal production went up by 17.8 per cent during the month as against 7.5 per cent in January,electricity generation was up at 8 per cent during the month as against 3.2 per cent in the previous month.

Except natural gas,all other sectors showed growth in February vis-a-vis January.

While production in refinery products turned positive at 6.2 per cent after contracting by 4.6 per cent during January,steel also witnessed a growth of 4.3 per cent after contracting by 2.9 per cent during January.

The increase in production of cement and fertiliser was however nominal,though production of crude oil grew by 0.4 per cent as against a decline of 2 per cent in January.

Experts said that if the momentum of growth is maintained for a few months,the green shoots of recovery would start getting visible and the overall IIP would improve significantly.

“We have to see if these numbers hold up in March and April. Then it would be a turnaround in core industries growth,” Director and Senior Economist of Deloitte Haskins and Sells Anis Chakravarty said.

“The growth is mainly driven by coal which performed badly last year,” DK Joshi,chief economist,Crisil,said.

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