India's factory output down 0.6 percent in December

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) India's industrial output contracted 0.6 percent in December 2012, dragged by deceleration in production in mining and manufacturing sectors, government data showed Tuesday.

According to the figures released by the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the index of industrial production (IIP) logged a decline of 0.6 percent growth year-on-year in December 2012.

In the corresponding month of 2011, this had registered a growth of 2.7 percent.

The IIP had logged a 0.1 percent growth in November 2012. It had logged an 8.2 percent growth in October, led by a rebound in manufacturing, power and higher output of capital as well as consumer goods.

The cumulative growth of the core industries during April-December 2012-13 was 0.7 percent as compared to 3.7 percent growth registered during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Earlier on Feb 7, the CSO revised India's economic growth to 5 percent in the current financial year, the lowest in a decade, due to poor performance of manufacturing, agriculture as well as services sector.

In its advance estimate of national income, the CSO had drastically cut the gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 5 percent for the year ending March 31, 2013, as compared to 6.2 percent in the previous year.

However, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram later said the GDP growth during the current fiscal would be about 5.5 percent rather than 5 percent that the CSO projected.

The mining sector registered a decelerated growth in production in the month under review.

The sector, which has 10.32 percent weight in the IIP, registered a decline of 4.00 percent in December 2012 as compared to 3.3 percent decline in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal.

The manufacturing sector's output in December marginally fell by 0.7 percent during the month under review as compared to 2.8 percent registered during the corresponding month of 2011.

The cumulative figures about the manufacturing industry showed an increase of just 0.7 percent in April-December 2012, as compared to 4 percent growth registered in the same period last fiscal.

The electricity sector grew by 5.2 percent compared to 9.1 percent increase during the year-ago period.

Segment-wise, high negative growth was reported in newspapers (-24.8 percent), furnace oil (-25.5 percent), grinding wheels (-44.5 percent), air conditioners (-36.6 percent), tractors (-21.00 percent), plastic machinery (-22.3 percent), telephone instruments (- 21.1 percent), boilers (-24.5 percent) and commercial vehicles (-19.8 percent).

Segment-wise growth was witnessed in molasses (33.5 percent), aerated water and soft drinks (65.00 percent), gas, liquefied petroleum (18.5 percent), petroleum coke (23.7 percent), carbon steel (23.7 percent), conductor, aluminium (82.3 percent), cable, rubber insulated (133.6 percent), wood furniture (23.8 percent) and gems and jewellery (24.5 percent).

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