Core sector growth at 16-month high in March

Infrastructure output growth rate rebounded to a 16-month high of 6.4% in March on robust performance of fertilisers, cement and electricity. However, the core sector grew at the slowest pace in five years in the fiscal 2015-16, showing signs of stress in the economy .
For the full fiscal, the eight core sectors grew by 2.7% in 2015-16, down from 4.5% in 2014-15. The slower FY16 growth was despite a sharp rise in March for the eight sectors -coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity. These sectors, comprising nearly 38% of the country's total industrial production, had shrunk by 0.7% in March 2015. The March 2016 performance is the best since November 2014, when these sectors had expanded by 6.7%.
Output in refinery products, fertiliser, cement and electricity jumped by 10.8%, 22.9%, 11.9% and 11.3% respectively in March, according to the data released by the commerce and industry ministry .However, crude oil and natural gas recorded negative growth during the month under review.
Coal production grew by 1.7%, though at a slower pace than 4.5% recorded in March 2015. Steel output, on the other hand, grew by 3.4% as against a negative (-) 6.5% in March 2015.

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