Piece of coking coal sit on the ground at the AK Steel Holding Corp. mill in Middletown, Ohio, U.S., (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Core Sector Growth Slows Marginally In March

Growth in the eight core sectors of industry slowed to a 3-month low of 4.1 per cent in March due to weak year-on-year performance in as many as six sectors including coal, crude oil and natural gas. The other sectors which showed slower growth rate were refinery products, steel and electricity.

The growth rate of these eight infrastructure sectors, which also include fertilizers and cement, was at 5.2 percent in March 2017, according to the data released by the commerce and industry ministry today. Core sector growth has an impact on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data as these eight segments account for about 41 per cent of the total factory output.

Cumulatively, the eight core sectors grew by 4.2 per cent in 2017-18 compared to 4.8 per cent in the previous fiscal.

The fertilizer and cement sectors reported healthy numbers. These sectors grew by 3.2 per cent and 13 per cent respectively in March. On the other hand, growth in the coal sector slowed to 9.1 percent as against 10.6 percent in March 2017. The steel sector grew at 4.7 percent compared to 11 percent a year ago.Electricity generation growth rate too decelerated to 4.5 per cent as against 6.2 per cent in March 2017. Crude oil recorded a negative rate of growth of 1.6 per cent in March this year.