Showing no signs of recovery, factory production remained in negative territory for the second month in a row, contracting 0.5 percent in March due to declining output in manufacturing, especially capital goods.
Output as measured by the index of industrial production (IIP) remained almost flat in 2013-14 and declined 0.1 percent compared with an expansion of 1.1 percent in 2012-13. The IIP showed growth of 3.5 percent in March 2013.
IIP data for February was revised to a contraction of 1.8 percent as against a dip of 1.9 percent, according to information released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Factory output started to decline in October, when the IIP contracted 1.2 percent, and continued till December.
It entered the positive zone in January and slipped into negative territory again in February.
Manufacturing, which constitutes over 75 percent of the index, declined 1.2 percent in March against growth of 4.3 percent a year earlier.
During the April-March period of 2013-14, the sector’s output contracted 0.8 percent compared with 1.3 percent growth previously.
Production of capital goods, a barometer of demand, shrank 12.5 percent, in sharp contrast to an expansion of 9.6 percent in the same month in 2013.
The segment declined 3.7 percent in 2013-14 over a contraction of 6 percent in the comparable period.
Overall, 12 of the 22 industry groups in manufacturing showed negative growth in March as compared to the corresponding month of 2013.
Output of consumer goods declined 0.9 percent in March compared with growth of 1.8 percent a year ago.
During 2013-14, consumer goods output contracted 2.6 percent against growth of 2.4 percent in 2012-13.
The consumer durables segment contracted 11.8 percent in March as against a decline of 4.9 percent previously.
For the entire financial year, the segment’s output fell 12.2 percent compared with an expansion of 2 percent in 2012-13.
Production of consumer non-durables expanded 7.2 percent compared with 7.3 percent in March last year and for the entire financial year; it grew 5.2 percent, at a faster pace than 2.8 percent in 2012-13.
The intermediate goods segment expanded 0.6 percent compared with 2.1 percent a year earlier.
During 2013-14, growth was 3 percent against 1.6 percent previously. Basic goods grew 4 percent in March against a rise of 3.2 percent earlier, while for 2013-14 growth was 2 percent versus 2.4 percent in 2012-13.
Power generation increased 5.4 percent in March compared with 3.5 percent in the same month of 2013. Power generation rose 6.1 percent in 2013-14 against growth of 4 percent in 2012-13.
The mining sector, with a weight of about 14 percent in the IIP, declined 0.4 percent in March as against a dip of 2.1 per a year earlier.
During 2013-14, mining output shrank 0.8 percent compared with a decline of 2.3 percent in 2012-13.