New Delhi: Reflecting slowdown in the economy, growth rate of eight core infrastructure industries slipped to 2.3 percent in May mainly due to declining output of crude oil, coal, fertiliser and natural gas.
The core industries had expanded at a rate of 7.2 percent in the same period last year.
Cumulatively, in April-May 2013-14, the eight core sectors registered a growth of 2.4 percent as against 6.5 percent in the same period last year, according to official data.
"The decline in the growth rate in May was mainly on account of negative growth witnessed in the production of coal, crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser," it said.
Experts said the figures clearly reflect slowdown in policy decisions and infrastructural bottlenecks.
"There is an urgent need to take steps to boost manufacturing. It will take some more months to see revival in the core sector data," Crisil chief economist D K Joshi said.
The contraction in production of coal, crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser in the month under review this year was at 3.3 percent, 2.4 percent, 18.7 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
The eight core sector industries have a weight of about 38 percent in the overall industrial production.
Petroleum refinery production showed an expansion of 5 percent. However, the growth was subdued as compared to 23.4 percent registered in May 2012.
Steel production grew by 4.1 percent as against 3.8 percent, while cement output was up by only 3 percent against 15.4 percent in the review period.
Growth in electricity generation stood at 6.2 percent, as against 5.9 percent expansion registered in the May 2012.
The growth in eight infrastructure industries was 3.2 percent in 2012-13 as against 5 percent in the previous financial year.
During April-May 2013-14, coal, crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser production declined to (-) 0.1 percent, (-) 1.8 percent, (-) 18.1 percent and (-) 2.2 percent, respectively.
Cumulative growth of petroleum refinery and steel production during the first two months of the current fiscal was 5.3 percent and 3 percent respectively.
Cement output slowed down to 5.6 percent as compared to 13.9 percent during April-May 2012-13.
Similarly, electricity generation too slipped to 4.9 percent as compared to 5.6 percent.