The country's core sector output grew at 18.1% in May 2022 as compared to 16.4% in the year-ago period, the ministry of commerce and industry data showed. The growth in the index of eight core industries can be attributed to the higher production of cement, coal, fertilisers and electricity during May 2022 over the corresponding period of last year.

"Coal industries grew by 25.1% and fertiliser industries were up by 22.8%. While the cement industries zoomed by 26.3%, the electricity sector increased by 22%," shows the ministry data. The coal production increased by 25.1% in May 2022 on a Year-on-Year basis. Its cumulative index increased by 26.9% from April to May 2022-23 over the corresponding period of the previous year.

The crude oil production rose 4.6% in May 2022 on YoY, while its cumulative index was up by 1.8%. For natural gas, the production increased by 7% in May 2022 and its cumulative index rose by 6.7%. Petroleum refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity saw 16.7%, 22.8%, 15%, 26.3%, and 22% growth, respectively, in May on a YoY basis. Their index grew by 12.8%, 16.3%, 8.4%, 15.9% and 16.7% during April-May 2022-23 over the corresponding period of the previous year.

The index of eight core industries measures combined and individual performance of production in selected eight core industries -- coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement and electricity. These 8 industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Meanwhile, the ministry has also revised the final growth rate of core industries for February 2022 to 5.9% from its provisional level of 5.8%. The core sector growth rate during April-May 2022-23 was 13.6% on a YoY basis.

In its monthly economic report released today, the finance ministry has said that while GDP growth forecasts for India during the current fiscal have been revised downwards, it continues to be the highest among major economies. As per the report, the ministry expects the CAPEX budget for fiscal 2023 to support growth while reining in inflation.

The growth momentum of the last quarter of FY22 has continued in the first quarter of FY23, as seen in several high-frequency economic indicators, the ministry says, adding that the GDP estimates for FY22 establish that the Indian economy has fully regained the pre-pandemic real GDP level of 2019-20. The contact-intensive sectors are yet to recover though, it further adds.

“The recovery is driven by sustained growth in agriculture, higher investment and rise in exports. High- frequency indicators (HFIs) for the April-May period signal a strong pick-up in economic activity in 2022-23, sustaining the momentum gathered in Q4 of 2021-22,” the finance ministry report states.

“Along with ensuring a sustainable growth path, the government has been focussed on keeping the fiscal deficit under balance. The fiscal deficit for 2021-22 stood at 6.7% of the GDP, lower than revised estimates of 6.9%.”

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