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Industrial activity in December quarter sluggish: CII survey

The data reveals the October-November festival and holiday season failed to boost consumer sentiment, dashing any hopes of a reversal in the slowdown. People bought fewer consumer durables and less alcohol and beverages as well.

(PHOTO: Associated Press) (PHOTO: Associated Press)

Industrial performance in India remained sluggish in the December quarter, a survey of 110 sectors by industry group Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has found.

The data reveals the October-November festival and holiday season failed to boost consumer sentiment, dashing any hopes of a reversal in the slowdown. People bought fewer consumer durables and less alcohol and beverages as well.  

Sectors showing negative or less than zero per cent growth increased to 28 per cent in December 2013 from 21 per cent a year ago. The per centage of high growth (10-20 per cent growth) sectors has also shrunk to 11 per cent from 19 per cent the previous year.

The CII survey categorises the growth range in four categories - excellent (>20 per cent), high (10-20 per cent), low (0-10 per cent), and negative (

Passenger cars, utility vehicles, vans, three-wheelers, mopeds, colour television, DVD players, bus and truck tyres were among the negative performers in the December quarter. On the positive side, the number of sectors showing excellent growth more than doubled to nine from four in the year-ago quarter.

Products such as LED/LCDS, computer tablets, tractors and scooters recorded impressive growth.

"This growth can be largely attributed to the growing demand and preference of these products, especially in the Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities and a young population. Tractors also recorded excellent growth for Oct-Dec 2013, reflecting an improved performance of the farm sector," CII said in a statement.


Nevertheless, the general trend seems to be one of despair and CII calls the trend disturbing. "This continuous trend of slow and deteriorating industrial growth outlines the weakened economic health of the country," CII said.

The group said respondents raised concerns over the weakening of the economy and stagnation in manufacturing growth.

"The global economic uncertainness continues to prevail and impact the growth of investments and exports in the country.  Rising inflation, stalled investments, subdued consumption, inverted duties and anomalies further add to the economic downturn. Respondents have stressed on the need for reviving the investments, rationalising taxation structure and increase infrastructure spending to kickstart the investment and growth in the economy," CII said.  

The CII data comes after the government released GDP figures for the December quarter last Friday - GDP expanded 4.7 per cent in the three months to December compared with 4.8 per cent growth in the previous three months. Growth remained below 5 per cent for the seventh straight quarter, dragged down by mining and manufacturing sectors.

Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder, Infosys: "We have made several recommendations to the government to improve things, including GST (Goods and Services Tax) and measures to boost manufacturing. Hopefully they will get implemented after the elections."