Core sector growth slows to 2.5% in March

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Core sector growth slowed to 2.5 per cent in March from 7 per cent in the same month a year ago as output of crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser declined.

The eight core industries -- fertilisers, cement, steel, electricity, crude oil, coal, petroleum refinery products and natural gas -- have a combined weight of about 38 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production.

For 2013-14, core sector growth slowed to 2.6 per cent from 6.5 per cent in 2012-13, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

In March, crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser output fell 1.6 per cent, 9.3 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively.

Growth in the production of coal, petroleum refinery products and steel slowed to 0.7 per cent, 2.8 per cent and 5.4 per cent in March as against 1.7 per cent, 24.3 per cent and 11.6 per cent a year earlier, respectively.

Cement output was unchanged in March. Only electricity generation increased to 5.4 per cent from 3.5 per cent in March 2013.

In January and February, the eight sectors grew by 1.6 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.

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