The output of eight core sectors grew by 11.6 per cent in August, mainly due to an uptick in the production of cement, coal, and natural gas, official data showed on Thursday.
The eight infrastructure sectors of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity had contracted by 6.9 per cent in August 2020 due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to control the spread of COVID-19.
The eight core industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
According to the commerce and industry ministry data, the production of coal, natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity increased in August 2021 over the corresponding period of last year.
On the other hand, output of crude oil and fertiliser industries declined.
Production of both coal and natural gas increased by 20.6 per cent in August 2021 over the same month of the previous year.
The output of cement sector rose 36.3 per cent and that of steel by 5.1 per cent in August 2021 on a yearly basis.
Petroleum refinery production climbed by 9.1 per cent and electricity generation was up by 15.3 per cent.
However, crude oil production declined by 2.3 per cent in August year-on-year. Fertilisers production too slipped by 3.1 per cent.
The growth rate of these infrastructure industries during April-August 2021-22 stood at 19.3 per cent, as against a contraction of 17.3 per cent in the year-ago period.
Meanwhile, the final growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries for May 2021 has been revised downwards to 16.4 per cent from the earlier estimate of 16.8 per cent.
Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhury/Reuters