May 2022: Core sector growth surges to 18.1%

Growth in the country’s crucial core sector surged in May on the back of strong performance by coal, cement, electricity and fertiliser sectors and helped by a low base during the second Covid wave.

The sector spanning coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity rose an annual 18.1% in May compared with 9.3% in the previous month and 16.4% in May 2021.

The eight core industries comprise nearly 41% of the weight of items included in the index of industrial production and augurs well for the numbers, which will be released later in the month. The industrial sector had been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine but has held up against several risks. The broader economy has also scripted a robust recovery against the backdrop of several risks, such as inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions.

The core sector data showed the cement sector grew 26.3% in May compared to a growth of 7.4% in the previous month and 11.7% expansion in May 2021. The robust growth could be attributed to the pickup in construction activity and infrastructure projects.

Economists said they expect industrial growth to be robust for May 2022 helped by the high growth in the core sector and robust expansion in other indicators.

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