Core industries grow at sluggish 2.3 percent in May

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) India's core infrastructure industries that include power, coal, cement, steel and petroleum products, registered a sluggish 2.3 percent growth in May this year, down sharply from 7.2 percent growth posted in the corresponding month last year, official data showed Monday.

"The decline in the growth rate in May 2013 was mainly on account of negative growth witnessed in the production of coal, crude oil, natural gas and fertilizer," the industry ministry said in a statement.

The eight core industries that have a combined weight of 37.90 percent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), registered 2.3 percent growth in April.

Coal output dropped by 3.3 percent in May 2013 as against an increase of 9.6 percent posted in the same month 2012.

Production of crude oil dropped by 2.4 percent and fertilizer output declined by 2 percent year-on-year during the month under review.

The worst performance was in the natural gas sector. Its output slumped 18.7 percent in May. The cumulative drop in the output of natural gas in the first two months of the current financial year was 18.1 percent.

However, petroleum refinery production posted a growth of 5 percent in May.

Steel production increased 4.1 percent, cement output grew 3 percent and electricity generation increased by 6.2 percent year-on-year during the month under review.

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