Core sectors contract 6.5% in March, hit by coronavirus lockdown

Crude oil sector contracted 5.5 per cent and natural gas by 15.2 per cent. Representative Image
India’s eight core sectors contracted 6.5 per cent in March compared to 7.1 % growth in February as the economy took a blow from a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Data released by the industry department on Thursday showed crude oil sector contracted 5.5 per cent, natural gas 15.2 per cent, refinery products 0.5 per cent, fertilisers 11.9 per cent, steel 13 per cent, cement 24.7 per cent and electricity 7.2 per cent during the month. Coal grew 4 per cent—the only sector to do so.

The eight core industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

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