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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002

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NCAER laces recovery in industry with caution

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Nov. 11

THE National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has said the sharp decline in the growth of infrastructure output and decline in many variables in September 2002 suggest "a more cautious outlook on industrial output growth in the coming months."

In its Macrotrack, a monthly publication dealing with strategic subjects of the economy, released on Monday, the Council said the infrastructure industries comprising crude petroleum, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel carrying a weight of 26.68 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) logged a growth of six per cent during the first half of the current fiscal. But the sharp decline in the growth rate of the infrastructure industry group to 1.7 per cent in September from 6.9 per cent in August points to the `base-year' effect rather than problems of specific industries alone.

For instance, the growth rate of coal and cement were close to or higher than 10 per cent in last September and the growth this year is less than one per cent.

However, it said, this is not to diminish the signal of slower growth of infrastructure industries to the overall performance of the industrial output. Again, two broad categories of credit viz., bank credit and bank credit to commercial sector show a downturn on cyclical basis in the latest month for which data are available.

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