Core Output Continues Upward Journey

Core sector production continued on its positive trajectory for the fifth straight month, with April growth accelerating the fastest in 17 months at 8.5%, giving further confidence in an economy that in the March quarter reiterated its position as the fastest expanding in the world.
Core sector outgrowing steadily put has been growing steadily from December, with monthly readings being 0.9%, 2.9%, 5.7% and 6.4%, respectively, through March. Output had shrunk 0.2% in April last year.
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, the cumulative growth of the index of eight core industries -widely called the core sector index -was 2.7%, the slowest since 2011-12. In the year before, the index had risen 4.5%.
These eight infrastructure sectors -coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity -together have a 38% weight in the index of industrial production (IIP).
The gain in core sector was driven by strong refinery output, which grew 17.9%, compared with a drop of 2.9% in April 2015. Electricity production rose 14.7%.
Data showed five sectors reported growth last month: fertilizers (7.8%), steel (6.1%) and cement (4.4%) besides electricity and refinery products.
Coal, crude oil and natural gas output, however, declined by 0.9%, 2.3% and 6.8%, respectively.

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