India’s industrial production grew at its fastest pace in seven months in February, rising 4.5% as compared to a 2.1% increase in January. The growth was led by mining, manufacturing activity and power generation, data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed on Thursday.
Industrial production for April 2019 to February 2020 period grew 0.9% over the corresponding period in the previous year, the data showed.
The Indices of Industrial Production for the mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors grew by 10%, 3.2% and 8.1%, respectively, as compared to February 2019. “The cumulative growth in these three sectors during April-February 2019-’20 over the corresponding period of 2018-’19 has been 1.9%, 0.6% and 1.5% respectively,” the government said in its report.
The government said that 13 out of the 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector showed year-on-year growth in February. The industry group “manufacture of basic metals” showed the highest growth rate of 18.2%, followed by industries manufacturing chemicals, which recorded 8% growth. The manufacturing of vehicles dropped 15.6% in output.
Industries producing primary goods grew by 7.4% in February. Capital goods production in February fell by 9.7%.
On Thursday, however, the Reserve Bank of India said the outlook for India’s economic recovery has been “drastically altered” by the coronavirus outbreak. “Covid-19 hangs over the future, like a spectre,” the central bank said in its Monetary Policy Report.
India’s economic growth slipped to a nearly seven-year low of 4.7% in the October-December quarter, according to government data. To combat the crisis triggered by the pandemic, the government has announced a Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package to provide direct cash transfers and ensure food security for certain sections of the society. The central bank, for its part, had cut interest rates by 75 basis points to 4.4%.