Growth in eight core sectors – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity – dropped to 2.1% in July against 7.3% growth during the same period last year, data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed on Monday.

The data stated that the production in the coal, crude oil, natural gas and petroleum refinery sectors had declined in July. However, output in fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity generation had increased during the month. “The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production,” the ministry said in its statement.

There was a decrease in coal production by 1.4%, crude oil by 4.4%, natural gas by 0.5% and petroleum refinery by 0.9%. An increase was recorded in the output by 1.5% for fertilisers, 6.6% for the steel industry, 7.9% for the cement sector and 4.2% in the electricity sector.

Between the months of April and July 2019-’20, the eight sectors grew only by 3% compared to 5.9% during the same period in 2018-’19, the data showed. The base year used for calculations is 2011-’12.

The 2.1% growth in July is marginally better when compared to the 0.2% growth in the month of June. The growth in May was 4.3%, while the cumulative growth for April-June was 3.5%.

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