India's infrastructure sector grew at its slowest pace in five months in May with key sectors such as electricity, steel, cement and refinery products remaining sluggish and crude oil and natural gas contracting.
Data showed the eight core sectors spanning coal, steel, cement, electricity, crude oil, natural gas and fertilizer and refinery products, grew an annual 2.8% in May , slower than the previous month's 8.5% and lower than the 4.4% growth clocked in May 2015.
The cumulative growth during April to May was a healthy 5.5% compared to 2.1% in the previous year. The robust growth of 8.5% in April had triggered hopes of a turnaround in the sector which has remained sluggish for a significant period.
The core sector accounts for 38% of the index of industrial production and it is generally expected that a turnaround in the infrastructure sector helps overall growth in industrial output. But industrial output growth contracted 0.8% in April, first decline in three months. Industrial output data has remained volatile and has attracted calls for revision from economists.