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India’s factory output out of negative territory at last

NEW DELHI: India’s factory production recovered marginally in November, after three straight months of contraction in a row, with the index of industrial production posting a growth of 1.8 per cent on the back of a low base in the year before and improvement in manufacturing.

India’s industrial production had shrunk by 3.8 per cent in October, after falling by 4.3 per cent in September and 1.4 per cent in August 2019.

However, the better showing in November will hardly bring much cheer to the corporate sector as factory production for the first eight months (April to October) limped at a mere 0.6 per cent, against 5 per cent growth for the same period last year. Analysts, while hinting at recovery in coming months were doubtful of India achieving the 5 per cent GDP growth forecast by the state-run Central Statistical Organisation this year.

According to the National Statistical Office (NSO) data, the manufacturing sector saw positive growth of 2.7 per cent, against a negative growth of 2.1 per cent in October.

The mining sector, too, after months of subdued growth, expanded by 1.7 per cent in November against a contraction of 8 per cent the previous month.

Electricity production fell 5 per cent, after a 12 per cent drop in October. “Growth in manufacturing has been impressive, although it could not build on the past month’s growth momentum,” said Rumki Majumdar of Deloitte India.