Core sector grows at 6.7% in January 2018

Eight infrastructure sectors grew a faster pace of 6.7 per cent in January against 3.4 per cent in the year-ago month as petroleum refinery and cement output zoomed while steel power and coal production improved. The eight core sectors — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — had grew by 4.2 per cent in December and 7.4 per cent in November this financial year.

Petroleum refinery production spurted 11 per cent in January against a flat output in the year-ago month. Cement output jumped 20.7 per cent in the month against 13.3 per cent contraction in the year-ago period.

Electricity generation growth also fast paced to 8.2 per cent in January against 5.2 per cent in January 2017.

Coal sector output improved by 3 per cent and steel production by 3.7 per cent in January 2018. Crude oil production however dropped 3.2 per cent, fertilisers by 1.6 per cent and natural gas by 1 per cent in the month under review.

Cumulatively, the growth in the eight core sectors during April-January this fiscal slowed to 4.3 per cent as against 5.1 per cent in the same period last fiscal.

The growth in key sectors will have implications for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) as these eight segments account for about 41 per cent of the total factory output.

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