In what may be termed as a clear indication of imminent slowdown in the economy,the growth rate of eight infrastructure decelerated sharply to 2.2 per cent in April as against 4.2 per cent growth clocked in the corresponding month last year,largely on account of a dismal performance by the fertiliser and natural gas sectors.
According to the data released by the government,during April-March 2011-12,the cumulative growth rate of the core industries was 4.4 per cent as against a growth of 6.6 per cent during the corresponding period in 2010-11.
The eight infrastructure sector crude oil,petroleum refinery products,natural gas,fertilisers,coal,electricity,cement and finished steel have a combined weightage of 37.9 per cent in the official industrial output benchmark the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). The core sector data is likely to have implications for the IIP as well. The core sector numbers are very poor. It will effect IIP as well as economy as a whole. The GDP numbers are also down, Crisil principal economist DK Joshi said.
During April,fertiliser and natural gas production contracted by 9.3 per cent and 11.3 per cent,respectively. Refinery products production contracted by 2.8 per cent while crude oil output declined by 1.3 per cent in April.
However,electricity generation,cement and steel output recorded a growth. While electricity generation during the month was 4.6 per cent as against 2.8 per cent in March,cement registered a growth of 8.6 per cent as against 7.1 per cent in March. Steel output grew by 5.8 per cent as against 2.3 per cent in March.