Infra sector grows by 6.5% in Oct

Infra sector grows by 6.5% in Oct New Delhi: Driven by coal and petroleum refinery, eight core sector industries registered eight-month high growth of 6.5 percent in October, a trend that is in contrast to fall in country's overall economic growth in July-September period.

Core sector industries had grown by a mere 0.4 percent in the same month last year.

Petroleum refinery products and coal production grew by 20.3 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively in the month under review. Steel output grew by 5.9 percent.

Fertiliser and cement output increased by 2 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.

"The modest growth in October was on account of double digit growth witnessed in the production of petroleum refinery products and coal," said an official statement.

This is the highest growth rate registered by core sector industries since February, 2012 when the expansion was 6.9 percent.

Notably, 6.5 percent growth in infrastructure industries is in contrast to the decline in GDP growth in July-September period of this financial year (2012-13).

Economic growth slipped in the July-September quarter to 5.3 percent, raising fears that the slowdown may pull down the annual growth rate to decade's low level.

In October, growth in electricity generation, however, slowed to 5.2 percent.

Natural gas and crude oil production contracted by (-) 14.9 percent and (-) 0.4 percent, respectively.

During April-October, the core sector growth has slowed to 3.7 percent from 4.3 percent in the year-ago period.

The growth in core sector industries in May, June and July and August had moderated to 4 percent, 3.6 percent, 1.8 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

In the same months last year, it was 5.9 percent, 5.6 percent, 8.2 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

However, in September the annual growth in the eight core sector industries more than doubled to seven-month high of 5.1 percent from 2.5 percent in September 2011.

PTI