India’s infrastructure sector grew 4.8 per cent in October with strong performance in the cement, electricity and coal sectors, but lower than 5 per cent in the same month last year.

There was a decline in the output of crude oil, natural gas and fertilisers while petroleum refinery production increased marginally.

Of the eight core sectors, which contribute 40 per cent to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), cement (weight of 5.37 per cent) posted the highest growth of 18.4 per cent in October over the same month last year followed by electricity generation (weight of 19.85 per cent) which grew by 11.4 per cent, according to an official release circulated on Monday.

“Growth at 4.8 per cent is quite impressive and on track with an impetus coming from power, mining and cement – all growing by more than 10 per cent. Growth in steel production moderated to 2.2 per cent due to high base effect despite higher production of automobiles and activities of infrastructure and construction,” pointed out Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE Ratings.

The cumulative growth of the eight sectors during April-October, 2018-19 was 5.4 per cent.

Compared to October, infrastructure sector growth was lower at 4.3 per cent in September and 4.2 per cent in August .

Coal production (weight of 10.33 per cent) increased 10.6 per cent in October. Steel production (weight of 17.92 per cent) increased by 2.2 per cent during the month while petroleum refinery production (weight of 28.04 per cent) increased by 1.3 per cent.

Crude oil output

The decline in crude oil production (weight of 8.98 per cent) was to the extent of 5 per cent in October, 2018 and natural gas production (weight of 6.88 per cent) declined by 0.9 per cent.

Fertilisers production (weight of 2.63 per cent), too, posted a fall of 11.5 per cent in October, 2018.