Sharp pick-up in refinery products and electricity generation led to the fifth straight increase in April
According to data released by the ministry of commerce and industry on Tuesday, growth in the eight sectors— coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity — comprising nearly 38 per cent of India's total industrial production, had fallen a marginal 0.2 per cent in the same period of the previous year.
Refinery products, which have steadily grown since December 2015, had output rising 17.9 per cent in April, after 10.8 per cent in March. Electricity generation rose for a fifth straight month, up 14.7 per cent, after 11.3 per cent in March.
Four sectors in March showed double-digit growth; it was two in April. Growth in cement and fertiliser slowed considerably. The former rose 7.8 per cent in April, after 22.9 per cent in March. Cement production fell from a 11.9 per cent rise in March to 4.4 per cent in April. Production volumes for both crude oil and natural gas continued to go down in April.
While crude oil fell by 2.3 per cent, growth in natural gas contracted 6.8 per cent.
The industries had last shown growth in August last year, continuing to be hit by falling international crude oil prices coupled with subdued domestic and international demand. Steel production increased by 6.1 per cent in April after rising 3.4 per cent in the previous month. Growth rates for coal continued to fall significantly from 9.1 per cent rise in January to 0.9 per cent fall in April.
Growth in the eight core sectors jumped to 8.5 per cent in April, due to a sharp pick-up in refinery products and a commensurate rise in electricity generation. The index had grown by 6.4 per cent in March.