Core sector growth slowed to 2.5 per cent in March from 7 per cent in the same month last year as the output of fertiliser, crude oil and natural gas declined.
The eight core industries — coal, crude oil, petroleum refinery products, natural gas, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity — have a combined weight of 37.90 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
In January and February, their output grew 1.6 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.
For 2013-14, core sector growth slowed to 2.6 per cent from 6.5 per cent in 2012-13, official data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry showed.
This is perhaps the lowest annual output growth for these industries in a little over a decade, industry observers said.
In March, crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser output declined 1.6 per cent, 9.3 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively.
While cement output remained unchanged in March, electricity output increased to 5.4 per cent (3.5 per cent).
Growth in the production of coal, petroleum refinery products and steel slowed to 0.7 per cent (1.7 per cent), 2.8 per cent (24.3 per cent) and 5.4 per cent (11.6 per cent), respectively.