India's March infrastructure output rises 5.2% y/y

A man works on a construction site of a residential building in Mumbai

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India's infrastructure output in March rose 5.2% year-on-year, compared with a revised 7.1% growth in February, government data showed on Tuesday.

Infrastructure output, which accounts for 40% of industrial production, measures activity in eight sectors, including refinery products and electricity.

In the financial year ended March 31, infrastructure output was up 7.5% from the year-ago period.

Cement production rose the most at 10.6% in March year-on-year, compared with a 9.1% growth a month earlier.

Coal production grew 8.7%, while electricity generation rose 8%. In February, coal production rose 11.6% and electricity generation grew 7.5%.

Two of the eight core sectors, however, posted a drop in output.

Fertiliser production registered a smaller fall of 1.3% in March, compared with a 9.5% decline in February, while refinery products dropped 0.3%, against a 2.6% rise in the previous month.

Steel production grew at 5.5% year-on-year in March, against a 9.1% increase a month earlier.

Crude oil production rose at a slower pace of 2% in March, compared with 7.9% growth in February.

Natural gas output registered a growth of 6.3% in March, while it rose 11.3% in the previous month.

"This can mean a growth of around 5%-6% in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for March," said Madan Sabnavis, an economist at Bank of Baroda.

The industrial output for March will be released on May 10.

(Reporting by Shivangi Acharya and Nikunj Ohri; Editing by Sohini Goswami)