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Consumer durables growth at faster clip: Ascon study

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, July 28

THE consumer durable sector has recorded an excellent growth in production during April-June 2002 as compared to the same period in the previous year, according to the latest survey conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The Ascon consumer durable sector survey shows that refrigerators witnessed a high growth of 10 per cent this year as compared to 0.2 per cent recorded last year. However, while the growth in sales of refrigerators has gone up from 0.5 per cent in April-June 2001 to 10 per cent in the corresponding period in 2002, exports have fallen from a positive growth of 10 per cent last year to six per cent this year.

The survey shows that the air-conditioner segment also recorded an excellent growth of 22 per cent in production this year as against 15 per cent last year.

Washing machines, which had witnessed a negative growth earlier, recorded a marginal increase in both production and sales at two per cent.

Water coolers also registered a high growth of 12 per cent this year, as compared to a moderate growth of five per cent last year.

The growth outlook for the next six months in terms of production of air-conditioners has been pegged at 10-15 per cent and that for refrigerators at 10 per cent, while that for sales and exports, the growth rate is seen in the range of 5-10 per cent and 0-5 per cent, respectively. However, the outlook for next year would be revised in view of the likely impact of the delayed monsoon or drought.

In the consumer electronic sector, the most impressive growth was recorded by the colour television (CTV) segment which registered an excellent growth of 40 per cent this year as compared to last year's negative growth of 10 per cent.

The survey shows that while VCRs, VCPs, VCDs, and DVDs recorded excellent growth of 25 per cent in production, audio products witnessed a high growth of 10 per cent during 2002 as compared to the nil growth in 2001.

Barring black and white television sets which registered a negative growth this year also, other segments of the consumer electronic sector such as clock and watches recorded a moderate growth in 2002.

However, there was a marginal drop in exports from 15 per cent to 10 per cent this year.

A significant turnaround was witnessed in the vehicle industry with an overall production growth of 24 per cent during April-June 2002 as compared to the negative growth of two per cent last year.

While motorcycles registered a growth of 49 per cent, the negative growth trend in scooters continued this year also. However, mopeds and three-wheelers, which saw negative growth last year, registered positive growths of 4.2 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively during 2002. Besides, HCVs (38 per cent) and LCVs (30 per cent) registered high positive growth rates as compared to the negative growth witnessed in the previous year.

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