No evidence of slowdown in investments: FM

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New Delhi, Sep 13: Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today he is confident that investments will continue to climb up and the economy is set for high growth.

''There is no evidence of investments slowing down,'' he told reporters a day after industrial growth, as measured by the index of industrial production (IIP), showed a declining trend for July.

''I remain optimistic. I'm quite confident that there will be latent demand which will push up capital expenditure in 2007-08,'' said Mr Chidambaram.

''We're trying to find out if demand is slowing down or if the production is being cut. Or maybe there's some inventory build-up.

If that's the case, then festival season is coming and demand will drive up.'' The finance minister said many sectors have shown better performance during April to July 07 over the corresponding period of previous year. They are food products, jute and textiles, wood products, leather, rubber, petrochemicals, base metals and basic machinery equipment.

Sectors which have not done well or shown sharp decline include cotton textiles, textile products, beverages and tobacco, paper and chemicals.

Manufacturing growth in July 07 has dropped to 7.2 per cent against 11 per cent for April to June 07 and 12.5 per cent for the entire fiscal 2006-07. The growth in other two sectors -- mining and electricity generation -- has been in line with the recent trend.

While mining has grown at 4.9 per cent against 3.2 per cent for April to June 07, electricity generation is up 7.5 per cent in July against 8.3 per cent for April to June.

UNI

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