Eight core industries output drops by 2.5 pc in Feb


Production in country's eight core industries that include power, coal, steel, cement, crude oil and natural gas fell 2.5 percent in February, dampening the hope of a revival in overall factory output, government data showed Monday.

The core industries, which have a combined weight of 37.90 percent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), registered a growth of 7.7 percent in February last year.

The cumulative growth of core industries in the April-February period of 2012-13 declined to 2.6 percent as compared to 5.2 percent recorded during the same period of previous year, according to data released by the commerce and industry ministry.

"The decline in growth in February 2013 was on account of negative growth witnessed in electricity generation and in the production of crude oil, coal, natural gas and fertilizers," the ministry said in a statement.

The biggest disappointment was from the petroleum and coal sectors. Natural gas output slumped by 20.1 percent in February year-on-year. Crude output fell by 4 percent.

Coal production dropped 8 percent, while fertilizers output fell 4 percent and electricity output slumped 4.1 percent during the month under review.

However, cement production rose 3.9 percent and steel output increased by a sluggish 0.5 percent. The petroleum refinery products increased 4.3 percent in February.