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OEM Update

Industrial output at steepest level in 16 years

July 15, 2009 11:16 am

 
Industrial output in March slumped by its steepest level in 16 years as the global economic recession dampened demand for Indian exports. The sharp contraction has raised expectations of further interest rate cuts by Reserve Bank of India even as there are hopes the Indian economy had seen its worst and was set for a recovery.
 
Factory output in March fell 2.3 per cent from a year ago, the third fall in the last four months, and much sharper than our estimate of 0.5 per cent contraction. The index of industrial production had grown 5.5 per cent in March last year.
 
Manufacturing output, which has 80 per cent weightage in IIP, fell 3.3 per cent compared to a 5.7 per cent growth in the same month last year. Output was dragged down by an 8.2 per cent drop in capital goods as against a 20 per cent growth in March 2008. Other segments such as consumer durables showed an improvement jumping 8.3 per cent from a year earlier.
 
Industrial output in 2008-09 slumped as the credit squeeze forced companies to delay expansion plans as well as slash production as exports suffered. However, despite the shocking numbers for March and a subdued 2.4 per cent growth for 2008-09 compared to 8.5 per cent growth in the previous financial year, there is optimisim about recovery in the economy from April.

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