Eight core sectors grew at a slower pace of 4.7 per cent in October, chiefly due to subdued performance of cement, steel and refinery segments. The eight infrastructure sectors — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — had clocked a growth of 7.1 per cent in October last year. Meanwhile, the industry ministry has revised downwards September growth print of these eight sectors to 4.7 per cent from the earlier estimate of 5.2 per cent. Official data released this evening showed that cement production contracted by 2.7 per cent as against an expansion of 6.2 per cent in October 2016. Output growth in the steel segment too slowed to 8.4 per cent in the last month compared to 17.4 per cent in the year- ago period. Similarly, there was slowdown in refinery output, whose growth was 7.5 per cent in October this year. This compares with 12.6 per cent expansion in the same month last year. Electricity generation, too, was slower on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, the coal segment has shown significant improvement as it expanded by 3.90 per cent. It witnessed a decline of 1.9 per cent in the year-ago period. The fertiliser sector grew by 3 per cent as against 0.7 per cent last year.
Crude oil production and natural gas output have shown improvement, too. Cumulatively, the growth in the eight core sectors slowed down to 3.5 per cent as against 5.6 per cent in the comparable period of the last fiscal. The eight core industries constitute 40.27 per cent of weight of items in the index of industrial production (IIP).