New Delhi: Growth in eight core industries that include electricity, coal, cement, steel and crude oil slumped to 0.5 percent in January as compared to 3.1 percent in the previous month and 6.4 percent in the corresponding month of last year, dampening hopes for revival in overall factory output.
According to data released on Tuesday by the ministry of commerce and industry, the biggest drag were the electricity generation and petroleum refinery segments. Growth in electricity generation, which has 10.32 percent weight in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), slumped to 2.4 percent in January as compared to 8 percent in December.
In fact, electricity sector has been the key driver of factory output this year. Cumulative growth in electricity generation was 8.6 percent during April-January 2011-12 as against 5.2 percent growth registered during the corresponding period of last year.
During April-January 2011-12, the cumulative growth rate of the eight core industries, which has a combined 37.9 percent weight in the Index of Industrial Production, was 4.1 percent as compared to 5.7 percent the corresponding period in 2010-11.
Petroleum refinery production dropped by 4.6 percent in January as against 0.8 percent growth registered in the previous month and 8.7 percent growth registered in the corresponding month of last year.
Steel production dropped by 2.9 percent, natural gas production slumped by 8.9 percent and crude oil production fell by 2 percent during the month under review.
However, there was a good revival in coal output, which grew by 7.5 percent in the month under review after sluggish production registered in most part of the year. In fact, in cumulative terms coal production had a negative growth of (-) 1.5 percent during April-January 2011-12.
Fertiliser production grew by four percent and cement output rose by 10.6 percent during the month under review.