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India June Infrastructure Output Contracts For 4th Month On Virus Impact

Friday,   31-Jul-2020   05:30 PM (IST)

India’s infrastructure output contracted for a fourth month in June, but the pace of fall eased from the previous month as production of electricity and refinery products shrank at a slower rate, government data showed today. Infrastructure output contracted 15% in June. The print for May was revised to a 22% decline from previously reported fall of 23.4%. The reading for March was also revised to 8.6% contraction from 9% fall reported earlier. The core index, as it is commonly called and has a revised combined weight of over 40% in the index of industrial output, indicates the momentum of overall manufacturing activity in the economy. Infrastructure output contracted 24.6% on year in the first three months of this fiscal year that started Apr. 1, compared to 3.4% expansion for the same period a year earlier. India had last month lifted most lockdown restrictions, which were imposed from Mar. 25 to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus. Electricity output, which has a 19.85% weight in the core sector index, contracted 11% in June, the pace slowing from May’s revised 14.8% decline, data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed. Production of petroleum refinery products, which has the highest 28.04% weight in the index, fell 8.9% annually in June, compared with a 21.3% fall in May. Steel production contracted 33.8% on year in June, slowing from a revised 43.1% fall in May, the data showed. Cement production fell 6.9% in June, compared with last month’s revised 21.4% annual contraction. Coal production contracted 15.5% in June, faster than last month’s 14% annual contraction, while crude oil output fell 6% versus a 7.1% decline in May, the data showed. Fertilizer output in June rose 4.2%, slowing pace from 7.5% annual expansion in May. Natural gas production fell 12% in June as compared with a 16.8% contraction in the previous month, the data showed. These data are provisional and can be revised later.