A shipwright welds a steel plate for a ship being built at the ABG Shipyard Ltd. in Surat, India. (Photographer: Amit Bhargava/Bloomberg News)  

India’s Core Sector Growth Slows To 2.6% In April 2019

Core sector growth slowed down to 2.6 percent in April, due to negative growth in crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser output. During April 2018, the expansion rate of eight infrastructure sectors —coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity —stood at 4.7 percent.

Coal generation growth was flat at 2.8 percent in April 2019, said the government data. The output of electricity and refinery products was 5.8 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively. Crude oil, natural gas, and fertilizers sectors posted decline in growth during the month.

The infrastructure sector growth has an impact on the Index of Industrial Production as these segments account for about 41 percent of the total factory output.

On Friday, the Central Statistics Office put out India’s Q4 GDP data which showed that the Indian economy grew at its slowest pace in 20 quarters in January-March 2019. India’s gross domestic product grew at 5.8 percent in Q4 as consumption and investment in the economy weakened.

Key employment generating sectors—agriculture, manufacturing and manufacturing—saw lower growth in the final quarter of year, showed data released on Friday.

The government, however, managed to come close to its once-revised fiscal deficit target for financial year 2018-19, showed data released by the Controller General of Accounts. Fiscal deficit for FY19 settled at close to 3.4 percent of GDP, in line with the revised target and marginally higher than the initial budget target of 3.3 percent of GDP. At the end of March, the fiscal deficit stood at Rs 6.45 lakh crore or 101.7 percent of the revised estimate.