February 2020: Core Sector Growth at 11-Month High

Buoyed by a rise in the output of coal, cement and electricity, India’s eight infrastructure industries grew at an 11-month high in February, although the recovery is unlikely to be sustained because of the disruption caused by Covid-19.

The Index of Eight Core Industries rose 5.5% in February, data released by the government showed on Tuesday. The growth estimate for January was revised to 1.4% from 2.2% assessed earlier.

Growth for the April-February was at 1%, sharply lower than 4.2% in the same period a year earlier. The eight core infrastructure industries in the index are coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity.

The statistics office will release factory output numbers for February on April 9. Output of coal, refinery products and electricity grew 10.3%, 7.4% and 11%, respectively. Refinery production was aided by export demand and a negative base effect. Cement production rose 8.6%, reflecting higher construction activity. Fertiliser production was up 2.9%. Crude oil, natural gas, and steel output contracted in February.

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