Core infrastructure industries output up 6.6 pc in December

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Output of the six coreinfrastructure industries grew by a healthy 6.6 per cent inDecember, 2010, an indicator that the Indian economy is on afirm wicket.

The six core sectors -- crude oil, petroleum refineryproducts, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel -- hadexpanded by 6.2 per cent in December, 2009.

The 6.6 per cent growth charted in December, 2010, issignificantly higher than the 3 per cent expansion recorded inthe previous month (November, 2010) and will definitely liftthe index of industrial production (IIP) numbers for December.

Industrial output, as measured by the IIP, had sunk to an18-month low of 2.7 per cent in November, 2010.

These core industries account for 26.68 per cent of thecountry''s total industrial output.

Petroleum refinery output grew by 8.3 per cent, whileproduction of coal registered 3 per cent growth in December,2010, data released by the Industry Ministry today revealed.

However, growth in cement production slowed to 2.2 percent in December, 2010, compared to 11 per cent expansion inDecember, 2009.

Finished steel production grew by 11.2 per cent inDecember, 2010, from 9.6 per cent in the comparable period ayear ago.

In addition, crude oil production witnessed a significantjump during the last month of the 2010 calendar year, risingby 15.8 per cent. In comparison, crude output rose by just 1.1per cent in December, 2009.

During the first nine months of the current fiscal, thesix core industries registered average growth of 5.3 per cent,compared to 4.7 per cent expansion in April-December, 2009.

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