India’s industrial output nosedives 2.3 percent in March (Second Lead)

May 12th, 2009 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) India’s industrial output fell for the third consecutive month in March by a steep 2.3 percent compared to the corresponding month last year, according to government data released Tuesday.
This was the third fall in four months, goading industry to describe the development as “a matter of serious concern”.

Production in the manufacturing sector declined 3.3 percent during the month under review from the year-ago period, showed data released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) under the statistics and programme implementation ministry.

The CSO data, however, showed the cumulative growth in industrial production between April 2008 and March 2009 was 2.4 percent more than the corresponding period the previous year.

During this period, the mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors showed improved performance, their production rising 2.3 percent, 2.3 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, over the corresponding period of 2007-08.

CSO said five out of the 17 industry groups have shown positive growth during March 2009, with tobacco, beverages and related products registering the highest growth of 15.1 percent.

Chemical products except petroleum products and coal followed with 8.3 percent growth, with transport equipment and components coming next with 7 percent growth.

On the other hand, food products industry fell 35.8 percent followed by wood and wood products at 25.1 percent, and “other manufacturing industries” at 19.7 percent.

“The decline in industrial production is driven entirely by the manufacturing sector that constitutes nearly 80 percent of industry. This is a matter of serious concern,” said Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president Harsh Pati Singhania.

“What is of concern is that some of the basic and core industries such as metal products, basic metal and alloys have shown deep deceleration,” Singhania added.

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