The eight core industries, which apart from having a bearing on industrial performance constitute 38 per cent of broader IIP, advanced further in recovery with 3.7 per cent growth in the composite index in August, from 3.1 per cent in July, 1.6 per cent average during Q1 and around a similar measure during Q4 of fiscal 2013.

The performance was, no doubt, helped by a strong 6.7 per cent growth in power generation. However, barring crude petroleum, which constitutes only around a fifth of petroleum refinery raw material with the rest coming from imports and natural gas that has remained in negative zone, the other six core industries remained in the positive growth zone.

Hydropower shot up 36 per cent in August and 20 per cent during April-August on the back of strong southwest monsoon. Thermal power declined marginally in August, but showed 1.7 per cent increase during April-August.

CORE INDUSTRIES PERFORMANCE (% INCREASE)
 
August
April-August
 
2012
2013
2012-13
2013-14
Coal
11.8
5.5
7.4
0.5
Crude Oil
-0.6
-1.5
-0.6
-1.6
Natural Gas
-13.5
-16.1
-12
-17
Refinery Products
31.8
4.9
25.6
4.8
Fertiliser
-2.1
1.7
-7.9
1.8
Steel
2.9
4.3
2.8
4.1
Cement
0.4
5.5
8.3
3.2
Electricity
1.9
6.7
4.9
4.1
Total for Above Industries
6.1
3.7
6.3
2.3

Coal production consolidated with 5.5 per cent increase, from 1.2 per cent in July and decline in the first six months of calendar year 2013. Cement production increased by 5.5 per cent, the best rate in current fiscal so far, though the feat has come over stagnation in August a year ago. Alloy and non-alloy steel production slowed to 4.3 per cent, from 7 per cent in July, even as the performance indicated improvement over 3.1 per cent average in the previous three months.

Throughput at petroleum refineries, which factors proportionate output from RIL (SEZ), slowed to 4.9 per cent from 5.1 per cent in July. Fertiliser production increased 1.7 per cent during August.

The growth rate in infrastructure industries over April-August worked out to 2.3 per cent, against 6.6 per cent in the corresponding period a year ago and 2.8 per cent in the corresponding period two years back.


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