The output for India's eight core industries contracted for the sixth straight month, dropping 8.5 percent in August 2020, shows data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on September 30.
The contraction has taken place mainly due to the decline in the production of steel, refinery products and cement. As per the government, the production of eight core sectors had contracted 0.2 percent in August 2019.
Apart from coal and fertiliser, all other sectors including crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity recorded negative growth in August 2020. The government stated that the sectors' output declined by 17.8 percent in April-August 2020-21 compared to a growth of 2.5 percent in the same period in 2019.
According to the details, the combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 117.6 in August, 2020 (a decline by 8.5 percent Y-o-Y) and the cumulative growth during April to August, 2020-21 declined by 17.8 percent. The Union Ministry has revised the final growth rate of Index of Eight Core Industries for May 2020 to a negative 21.4 percent.
Among the sectors worst hit include refinery products where petroleum refinery production declined by 19.1 percent in August, 2020 over August, 2019. Next affected sector is cement whose production fell by 14.6 percent. Natural gas production declined by 9.5 percent, fertilizers production fell by 7.3 percent and steel production decreased by 6.3 percent in the April-August duration of FY 2020-21.However, coal production increased by 3.6 percent in August 2020 over August 2019, while, electricity generation declined by just 2.7 percent in the corresponding period. The next index for September 2020 will be on October 29, 2020.