India’s Nov infrastructure output rises at slowest pace in 6 months

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India’s infrastructure output in November rose at the slowest pace in six months at 7.8% year-on-year, as a delayed festival season reduced working days leading to a drop in cement and crude oil production.

It was the slowest growth in infrastructure output, comprising eight sectors also including coal and electricity, since the 5.2% recorded in May 2023.

Diwali, one of India’s main festivals, is usually celebrated in October, but fell later this year, in November.

Cement output dropped 3.6% year on year in November while crude oil production fell 0.4%.

Electricity generation rose 5.6% in the month, coal production was up 10.9% and the steel sector expanded 9.1% year on year, the data showed. Production of refinery products increased 12.4%.

“Given the larger number of factory holidays, we anticipate a modest 2-4% rise in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in November 2023,” said Aditi Nayar, an economist at ICRA.

In the first eight months of the financial year that started on April 1, infrastructure output, which accounts for nearly 40% of industrial production, rose 8.6% year on year, the data showed.

(Reporting by Nikunj Ohri and Shivangi Acharya; editing by Jane Merriman, Kirsten Donovan)