The combined output of eight crucial infrastructure sectors jumped to a 16-month high of 6.4 per cent in March due to a double-digit growth in refinery products, fertilisers, cement and electricity.
Data released by the commerce ministry on Monday showed the eight core industries — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — had a cumulative growth of 2.7 per cent in the financial year 2015-16 ended March. However, this was lower than 4.5 per cent for the previous financial year. The industries carrying a total weight of nearly 38 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has seen a straight fourth month of rise. This is expected to give a push to the IIP, which had risen by two per cent in February. Economists, however, forecast only a mild increase in IIP. “…the pick-up in the pace of expansion of the core sector augurs well for a mild improvement in IIP growth in March 2016,” said Aditi Nayar, senior economist, Icra.