The growth of eight core sectors slowed to 3.6 per cent in May due to fall in output of coal, fertiliser and steel. The growth rate of eight infrastructure sectors — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — was 5.2 per cent in May last year. Coal and fertiliser productions recorded negative growth of 3.3 per cent and 6.5 per cent, respectively, as per the government data released today. Steel output dipped to 3.7 per cent last month as against 13.4 per cent in May 2016. Slow growth in key sectors would also have implications on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) number as these segments account for about 41 per cent to the total factory output.
However, growth in refinery products and electricity output grew by 5.4 per cent and 6.4 per cent in May as against 3.3 per cent and 6.2 per cent, respectively in the same period last year. Natural gas production too grew by 4.5 per cent in May as against a negative growth rate of 6.5 per cent a year earlier. In April, these eight sectors had recorded a growth rate of 2.8 per cent.