New Delhi, Sept. 20: The six core sectors reflecting the health of the economy have shown a rise — a trend that flies in the face of Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the country’s local currency debt to junk bond status on the ground that the economy is losing its steam.
The six core industries — coal, crude petroleum, electricity, cement, finished steel and petroleum refinery products — have recorded a growth of 6.9 per cent for August compared with 1.3 per cent in the same month last year.
Although every industry has recorded improved performance, the best growth was registered by finished steel, which grew by 13.2 per cent against a negative 4.4 per cent registered in the same month last year. In the five months ended August, the tally was 8.9 per cent as production went up to 13.5 million tonnes from 12.4 million tonnes in April-August last year.
Cement grew 12.2 per cent in August, up from a rate of 6.9 per cent that the sector logged in August last year. In April-August, growth was 11.6 per cent with a cumulative production of 48.1 million tonnes against 43.09 million tonnes.
Although crude petroleum registered a growth of 2 per cent in August this year against a no-growth situation same month last year, refinery output did not show any improvement. Between April and August, cumulative production of crude petroleum was 13.8 million tonnes compared with 13 million tonnes a year earlier.