IIP: March Industrial Output Showed Strength Till Second Wave Hit
A worker observes production on the main body respot welding line on the Innova Crysta compact multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) production line at the Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd. plant in Bidadi, Karnataka, India, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

IIP: March Industrial Output Showed Strength Till Second Wave Hit

India’s industrial output in March was 22% higher than a year ago when the country had been forced into a nationwide lockdown. The data, which comes with a two-month delay, is yet to reflect the impact of the second wave.

The Index of Industrial Production rose by 22.35% in March 2021 over last year, compared to a drop of 3.4% in February, according to revised estimates. Thirty two economists polled by Bloomberg had forecast March IIP growth at 20%.

The index itself was at 143.4 in March 2021 compared to 129.6 in February 2021, suggesting a robust recovery was underway until the second wave of Covid-19 infections hit the economy.

Sectoral Estimates

  • Mining output rose by 6.1% over last year. The index rose to 139 in March compared to 117.9 in February.
  • Manufacturing output was 25.8% higher than a year ago. The index rose 8.5% month-on-month as well.
  • Electricity generation was 22.5% higher than a year ago. Once again, the index rose sharply by 16.9% month-on-month to 180.

The use-based classification showed that output across primary, capital and intermediate goods was expanding before the second wave hit. However, growth in consumer durables slowed and consumer non-durables saw a contraction even on a sequential basis.

  • Primary goods output index was at 144.8, rising 7.7% over last year and 16% over the previous month.
  • Capital goods index stood at 103, an increase of 41.8% over last year and 9% over a month ago.
  • Intermediate goods output was 21.2% higher than a year ago and 10.6% over the previous month.
  • Infrastructure and construction goods output was 31.2% higher than last year and 10.8% higher than last month.
  • Consumer durables output was 55% higher than last year and 3% over a month ago.
  • Consumer non-durables output was 2.3% below a year ago and 8.5% below the previous month.
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