April core sector output jumps 56.1%, base buoys

Cement, steel hint at lockdown impact

The output of eight core sectors jumped by 56.1% in April mainly due to a low base effect and uptick in production of natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity, official data showed on Monday.

The eight infrastructure sectors of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity had contracted by 37.9% in April 2020 due to the national COVID-19 lockdown.

Production of natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity jumped by 25%, 30.9%, 400%, 548.8% and 38.7% in April, as against (-) 19.9%, (-) 24.2%, (-) 82.8%, (-) 85.2% and (-) 22.9% in April 2020.

“The improvement was fairly broad-based, with an expected spike in the growth of cement and steel production, although both lagged our projections suggesting some impact of the regional lockdowns on activity,” said ICRA Chief Economist Aditi Nayar.

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