The output of core sector industries shrank by 0.4% in April — an 18-month low — due to negative growth in production of crude oil, cement, electricity generation, fertiliser, natural gas and refinery items, giving rise to fresh worries over industrial recovery despite recent ministry data showing robust growth in manufacturing in Q4 of FY15. For full 2014-15 fiscal, core sector output slowed to 3.6% from 4.2% in the previous fiscal.
Eight core-sector industries have a combined weight of 38% in the Index of Industrial Production. In April last year, core sector growth was 5.7%. The previous low was negative growth of 0.6% in October 2013. The data comes a day ahead of RBI’s credit policy announcement on Tuesday.