New Delhi: Reflecting slowdown, the growth of eight core sectors slipped to four-month low of 1.8 percent in November, mainly due to contraction in production of natural gas, coal and cement.
The key infrastructure sectors had recorded growth of 7.8 percent in the same month last year.
However, the eight core sector industries had registered an eight-month high growth of 6.6 percent in October 2012. In July, the sectors grew by 1.2 percent.
The cumulative expansion of these industries in April - November 2012 slowed to 3.5 percent from 4.8 percent in the same period last year, according to official data released on Monday.
The eight industries include crude oil, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel and have a weight of 37.9 percent in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
"The decline in growth in November, 2012 was on account of negative growth witnessed in the production of coal, natural gas and cement and deceleration in growth rates of electricity, steel and petroleum refinery products," it said.
Economists said poor performance of core industries points towards economic slowdown. These numbers will have implications on industrial production data for November to be released later next month.
"The number clearly indicating continued slowdown in the economy. There is an urgent need to boost investments in the country. It will have its effect on IIP as well," Ficci's former secretary general Rajiv Kumar said.
Belying expectations of recovery, economic growth slipped further 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.
Production of natural gas and coal contracted by 15.2 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively in November. Cement output too shrunk by 0.2 percent as against 17 percent growth in the same month last year.
Steel and electricity production slowed to 6 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. In the same month last year, it was 10.5 percent and 14.4 percent in that order.
Petroleum refinery output also slowed down to 6.6 percent against to 11.2 percent last year.
However, production of fertiliser and crude oil grew by 5 percent and 0.8 percent in November respectively.