New Delhi: Showing signs of recovery, the eight core infrastructure industries grew by 6.8 percent in February on account of healthy coal and power output, up from a dismal performance of 0.5 percent a month ago.
The core infra grew by 6.4 percent in February last year.
The eight industries-- crude oil, petroleum refinery products, natural gas, fertilisers, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel-- have a weight of 37.90 percent in the overall Index of Industrial Production.
Electricity, coal and cement output grew by 8 percent, 17.8 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively, in February according to the provisional data released Thursday.
Economists said if this growth rate is maintained for a few more months, it would improve the overall industry output.
The eight core sectors had grown by a mere 0.5 percent in January, 2012.
"We have to see if these numbers hold up in March and April. Then it would be a turnaround in core industries growth," Director and Senior Economist of Deloitte Haskins and Sells Anis Chakravarty said.
"The growth is mainly driven by coal which performed badly last year," CRISIL Economist D K Joshi said.
In February 2011, electricity and cement production had grown by 7.2 percent and 6.5 percent respectively, while coal output contracted by (-) 5.8 percent.
Crude oil production grew by a mere 0.4 percent in the month under review against 12.2 percent in the comparable period of last year. Petroleum refinery products output grew by 6.2 percent against a growth of 3.2 percent in the same month last year.
However, natural gas output contracted by (-) 7.6 percent. Fertiliser and steel production rose by 4.1 percent and 4.3 percent in February as against 4.8 percent and 18.5 percent respectively in the same period last year.
During April-February 2011-12, the growth of core industries slowed down to 4.4 percent from 5.8 percent in the same quarter last year.
During the 11-months of the fiscal, while natural gas production contracted by (-) 8.8 percent, coal and crude oil output grew by 0.4 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.
First Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 12:51