The eight core sector industries grew an annual 2.6% in August compared with 5.9% in the corresponding month last year as steel production shrank and coal output flattened. Cement and electricity sectors also fared worse in August compared with a year earlier.
The core sector output expanded 1.1% in July.
The growth in the output of these industries, which have a combined weight of 38% in the index of industrial production, was as high as 8.7% in June 2014 and had hit an 18-month trough of -0.4% in April. The core sector output during April-August of FY16 expanded at a slower pace of 2.2% as against 5.6% in the first five months of FY15.
As for individual sectors, crude oil grew 5.6% in August, 2015 (against -4.9% in August last year) while natural gas (3.7% vs -8.1%), refinery products (5.8% vs -4.4%) and fertilisers (12.6% vs -4.3%) also grew at higher rates than a year ago. Coal output grew just 0.4% in August, 2015 compared with 13.2% a year ago, while steel (-5.9% vs 9.4%), cement (5.4% vs 10%) and electricity (5.6% vs 12.9%) too fared worse. The output growth of these sectors in
July was as follows: Crude oil (-0.4%), natural gas (-4.4%), refinery products (2.9%), fertilisers (8.6%), cement (1.3%) and electricity (3.5%).