A highway in Delhi (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Core Industries Grow 5% In March, Fastest Pace In 3 Months

The eight core industries grew by 5 per cent in March, the fastest pace in three months, on the back of higher coal and steel production.

The growth rate of eight infrastructure sectors – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity – was however lower than 9.3 percent recorded in March last year.

As per the government data released on Sunday, coal production increased by 10 percent in March as against 2.5 percent a year ago. Steel (alloy + non-alloy) production was up 11 percent compared to 7.8 percent in March 2016.

Electricity generation was up by 5.9 percent. Crude oil and natural gas production was 0.9 percent and 8.3 percent, on annual basis.

On the other hand, cement production declined by 6.8 percent in March while fertiliser output fell 0.8 percent.

There was also a 0.3 per cent decline in production of refinery products.

The core industries, which contribute 38 percent to the total industrial production, had expanded by 1 per cent in February and 3.4 per cent in March. The expansion was recorded at 5.6 per cent in December.

On a cumulative basis, the infrastructure industries grew by 4.5 per cent in the year ended March, higher than 4 per cent recorded in the previous fiscal.