Eight Core Industries Saw Output Fall 3.7% Month-On-Month In May
A worker cleans slag from an electric arc furnace at the OAO Izhstal steel plant in Izhevsk, Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Eight Core Industries Saw Output Fall 3.7% Month-On-Month In May

Eight core infrastructure industries saw output fall 3.7% over the previous month in May, shows data released by the government on Wednesday. In April, output had dropped 12.4% compared to March, suggesting that the pace of decline in economic activity seen in April was not mirrored in May.

Compared to a year ago, when a nationwide lockdown was in place, output across these industries was higher by 16.8%, the data showed.

Coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity count among the core sectors, which constitute 40% of the Index of Industrial Production.

Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist at India Ratings & Research Ltd., said the best way to assess the core sector data is to compare to index levels between now and February 2020 before the Covid crisis hit.

This comparison reveals that core sector output in May 2021 is 93.9% of February 2020. The core sector output had surpassed and/or came very closed to the February 2020 core sector output level during December 2020-March 2021 but slipped thereafter. This happened due to the regional/partial lockdown imposed in the different parts of the country due to the second wave of Covid infections.
Sunil Kumar Sinha, Principal Economist, India Ratings & Research

Also read: Fiscal Deficit For April-May At Just Over 8% Of Budget Estimate

Break-Up Across Eight Core Sectors

  • Coal output rose 3% month-on-month in May compared with a decline of 46% in April.

  • Crude oil output declined 2% compared with a drop of 4.7% in April.

  • Natural gas output rose 2.9% versus a 1% drop in April.

  • Refinery products saw a drop of 4.6% compared with an 8.2% fall in April.

  • Fertiliser production rose 16% compared with a 3.3% drop the previous month.

  • Steel output was lower by 0.4% over a month ago compared with a 9.1% drop a month ago.

  • Cement output dropped 17.6% month-on-month versus a 10.7% decline in April.

  • Electricity output dropped 7% in May over a month ago. In April, it had declined 3.3% compared with a month ago.

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