Infrastructure growth at a low
Growth in key infrastructure sectors dropped to a 21-month low of 2.3% in November over the same month last year, raising fears about the momentum of expansion in the country’s total factory output. In October, these sectors had recorded an impressive growth of 8.6%. The lacklustre growth of the 6 infrastructure sectors, which have a weightage of 26.68% in the overall industrial output, was largely on account of dip in petroleum refinery and cement output. The core sectors—crude oil, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel—had expanded by 5.9% in November 2009. Petroleum refinery output contracted by 3.7% and that of cement by 11.6% in November. Coal production witnessed a sluggish growth of 0.7% this November whilegrowth in the finished steel sector expanded by 4.4%. However, crude oil production expanded by 17%. Economists said the slower growth in core sectors would impact Index of Industrial Production (IIP) badly.