By Aditya Raghunath
Investing.com — Government data released on March 31 showed that the output of eight core infrastructure sectors contracted by 4.6% in February.
“The combined Index of eight core industries stood at 127.8 in February 2021, which declined by 4.6% (provisional) as compared to the index of February 2020,” said the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in an official release.
- Coal: Down 4.4%
- : Down 3.2%
- : Down 1%
- Refinery products: Down 10.9%
- Fertilizers: Down 3.27%
- Steel: Down 1.8%
- Cement: Down 5.5%
- Electricity: Down 0.2%
This contraction of 4.6% is the highest decline in production since August 2020 when it had fallen 6.9%. To give context, in January 2021, the core index had grown 0.9%.
According to data from Commerce and Industry Ministry, the Index of these eight core sectors has seen a growth decline by 8.3% from April 2020-February 2021 compared to a growth of 1.3% in the same period last fiscal. This could mean that the IIP (Index of Industrial Production) contraction in February 2021 could deepen to 2-3% from 1.6% in January 2021, said ICRA (NS:) Ltd Principal Economist Aditi Nayar
However, economists have said that the core sector output should expand by 9-11% in March 2021.