India’s core sector output witnesses biggest ever fall, contracts 38% in April as lowdown hits economy

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Updated: May 29, 2020 6:05 PM

India’s core sector output contracted 38.1% in the month of April, reflecting how India’s economy has taken a toll as the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

core sector growth at 5.5 per cent in february highest in eleven monthsThe eight sectors consisting of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement, and electricity.

India’s core sector output contracted 38.1% in the month of April, reflecting how India’s economy has taken a toll as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic with a nation wide-lockdown. The core sector had expanded by 5.2% in the same period a year ago while it shrank 9% in the previous month. “In view of nationwide lockdown during April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, various industries viz. Coal, Cement, Steel, Natural Gas, Refinery, Crude Oil, etc experienced a substantial loss of production,” the official release said. This is the biggest ever fall in the core sector data ever recorded.

The eight sectors consisting of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement,  and electricity, was seen picking up since November last year before the coronavirus pandemic brought the growth to a halt. The final growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries for January was not changed from the earlier reported 2.2%. The core sector forms 40.27% of the index of industrial production. 

Core sectors saw refinery production decline by 24% in April from a year ago period. Its cumulative index increased by 0.2% during April to March, 2019-20 over the corresponding period of previous year. Steel production declined by a massive 83% from a year ago while electricity generation saw a decline of 22.8% in the same period. Coal Production registered a decline of 15.5% from April 2019, while crude oil production slipped 6.4%. Cement production was a massive 86% fall from last year in the month of April.

India also reported its gross domestic product for the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, which saw a growth of 3.1% down from 4.7% in the previous quarter. India’s GDP grew at a rate of 4.2% in the financial year 2019-20. India’s economy is expected to contract by a massive 5% by rating agencies including Crisil, Fitch and S&P.

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