Lower crude oil production decelerates India's April core sector growth

Last Updated: Sat, Jun 01, 2019 19:20 hrs
Industrial Automation (Image Courtesy: Nasa)

New Delhi: Lower production of crude oil and fertilisers decelerated the output pace of India's eight major industries in April to 2.6 per cent, official data showed on Friday.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry data, the index of eight core industries had risen 4.7 per cent in April 2018. On a sequential basis, the core sector grew by 4.9 in March this year.

The core sector index carries 40.27 per cent weightage of the items included in the index of industrial production (IIP).

"The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 127.5 in April, 2019, which was 2.6 per cent higher as compared to the index of April, 2018. Its cumulative growth during April to March, 2018-19 was 4.3 per cent," the Ministry said in a statement.

On sector-specific basis, the output of refinery products, which has the highest weightage of 28.03, grew 4.3 per cent in April 2019 compared to the corresponding month of the last fiscal.

Electricity generation, which has the second highest weightage of 19.85, increased by 5.8 per cent.

Steel production, the third most important component with a weightage of 17.91, was up by 1.5 per cent during the month under review, whereas coal mining, with a 10.33 weightage, was higher by 2.8 per cent.

On the other hand, extraction of crude oil, which has a weightage of 8.98, declined by (-) 6.9 per cent during the month under consideration.

The sub-index for natural gas output, with a weightage of 6.87, inched-lower by (-) 0.8 per cent.

Cement production, which has a weightage of 5.37, rose by 0.8 per cent in the month under review.

Fertiliser manufacturing, which has the least weightage of only 2.62, declined by (-) 4.4 per cent in April.

"Except electricity and to some extent refinery products and coal, all other segments of core sector have performed poorly in April 2019," said Sunil Kumar Sinha, Director -- Public Finance and Principal Economist India Ratings & Research (Fitch Group).

"The government capex spending is the key driver of growth for core infrastructure industries because private corporate investment is down and out. With new union government in place India Ratings (Ind-Ra) believes much of the future performance of these core infrastructure industries would depend on what is there in store for them in the full budget which is expected to be presented in the month of July 2019."