The eight core industries grew by 5 per cent in March, fastest in three months, on the back of higher coal and steel production. The growth rate of eight infrastructure sectors — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — was however lower than 9.3 per cent recorded in March last year.
As per the government data released today, coal production increased by 10 per cent in March as against 2.5 per cent a year ago. Steel (alloy + non-alloy) production was up 11 per cent while it had expanded by 7.8 per cent in March 2016.
Electricity generation was up by 5.9 per cent. Crude oil and natural gas production was 0.9 per cent and 8.3 per cent, on annual basis. On the other hand, cement production declined by 6.8 per cent in March this and also fertiliser output (-0.8 per cent). There was also decline in production of refinery products (- 0.3 per cent).
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The core industries, which contribute 38 per cent to the total industrial production, had expanded by 1 per cent in February and 3.4 per cent in March. The expansion was recorded at 5.6 per cent in December.
On cumulative basis, the infrastructure industries grew by 4.5 per cent last financial year ended March 2017, higher than 4 per cent recorded in the previous fiscal.