Full-fiscal core sector growth declines to 2.7% from 4.5%
The eight core sectors expanded to 16-month high of 6.4 per cent in March due to pick-up in refinery products, fertilisers and cement production. The sectors - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity - comprising nearly 38 per cent of India's total industrial production, had shrunk to (-)0.7 per cent in March last year.
It is the highest monthly growth since November 2014, when these sectors had expanded by 6.7 per cent. During the fiscal 2015-16 as a whole, the eight core sectors grew by 2.7 per cent, while it had expanded by 4.5 per cent in 2014-15. As per the data released by the government, output in refinery products jumped 10.8 per cent as against (-)1.5 per cent recorded in March 2015. Fertiliser production grew 22.9 per cent in March as against 5.2 per cent a year ago.
Similarly, cement output saw a jump of 11.9 per cent while there was decline in March 2015. Power generation saw a significant increase (11.3 per cent) in March 2016 as compared to the same month last year. Coal production grew by 1.7 per cent, though at a slower pace than 4.5 per cent recorded in March 2015. Crude oil production shrunk in March by (-)5.1 per cent. Natural gas output fell sharply by (-)10.5 per cent year-on-year.
Meanwhile, manufacturing output grew at its slowest pace in four months in April as new orders stagnated and input costs rose sharply, a monthly survey showed, adding to the clamour for further interest rate cut by RBI. The Nikkei/Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - a composite indicator of manufacturing sector performance - fell from 52.4 in March to 50.5 in April.
A reading above 50 represents expansion while one below this level means contraction.