--> Industrial growth dips to 5.3 pc in Jan amid fears of slowdown-->
Wed, Mar 12 03:01 PM
New Delhi, Mar 12 (PTI) In what could be construed as the beginning of a slow down, the year 2008 began on an ominous note with the industrial growth dipping to 5.3 per cent in January, less than half of what was recorded in the same month last year.
The slump in industrial growth would force the Reserve Bank (RBI) to cut interest rates during 2008-09 even if it decides to maintain status quo in its annual monetary policy, to be unveiled in April, because of its concerns on inflation, said HDFC Bank Chief Economist Abheek Barua. Industrial growth, as measured by Index of Industrial Production (IIP) slipped mainly on account of poor showing by all sectors of the industry, including manufacturing, electricity and mining, coupled with negative growth in consumer durables output.
The decline in industrial growth, Barua said, "confirms apprehensions of a slow down in economy. The growth in 2008-09 will be close to 8 per cent rather than 8.
5-9 per cent." The economy is projected to grow by 8.
7 per cent in the current fiscal, as per the advance estimates of the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO). While industrial production in January slipped sharply to 5.
3 per cent from 11.6 per cent in the same month last year, the cumulative growth during April-January worked out to be 8.
7 per cent, down from 11.2 per cent, as per the IIP figures released by the government today.
The growth in the manufacturing sector output, which has almost 80 per cent weight in IIP, declined to 5.9 per cent in January, against 12.
3 per cent in the same month last year. PTI.