India’s June industrial output rises at slowest pace in 3 months

By Nikunj Ohri and Shivangi Acharya

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India’s industrial output growth rate slipped to a three-month low of 3.7% year-on-year in June, data from the Ministry of Statistics showed on Friday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast an expansion of 5.0%. Industrial output for May was revised to 5.3% from 5.2%.

Manufacturing, which accounts for about 17% of the Indian economy, rose 3.1% year-on-year in June, slowing down from a revised 5.8% annual growth rate recorded in May.

Electricity generation during June rose 4.2% over the same month a year earlier, while mining activities increased 7.6%, the data showed.

In May, electricity generation fell 0.9%, and mining activities increased 6.4%.

“The sequential slowdown was led by the manufacturing sector, while the mining and electricity sectors witnessed an improvement in their growth performance amid deficient rainfall in the month,” said Aditi Nayar, an economist at ICRA.

India’s central bank sees the economy growing 6.5% in the financial year to the end of next March, with growth led by government capital spending.

In June, infrastructure or construction goods production grew 11.3% year-on-year, unchanged from the downwardly revised annual growth rate for May. Capital goods grew 2.2% compared to a year earlier.

Consumer spending has been weak though there has been some pick-up in recent months.

Consumer durables output contracted 6.9% year-on-year in June from a revised year-on-year growth of 1.2% the previous month.

Consumer non-durables showed a 1.2% year-on-year growth, compared to an upward revision of 7.6% growth in May.

Sluggish growth of consumer non-durables and the contraction in consumer durables “are not a good sign” for a consumption revival, said Devendra Pant, chief economist at India Ratings & Research.

“Unless consumption demand revives, it is difficult to have a sustained consumption and investment recovery,” Pant said.

(Reporting by Shivangi Acharya and Nikunj Ohri; editing by Christina Fincher and Hugh Lawson)