India’s Sept industrial output falls at fastest pace in six years

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NEW DELHI: India’s industrial output fell at the fastest pace in over six years in September, adding to a series of weak indicators that suggests the country’s economic slowdown is deep-rooted and interest rate cuts alone may not be enough to revive growth.

Annual industrial output contracted 4.3pc in September, government data showed on Monday. It was the worst performance since a 4.4pc contraction in February 2013, according to Refinitiv data.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output to fall 2pc for the month.

“A contraction of industrial production by 4.3pc in September is serious and indicative of a significant slowdown as both investment and consumption demand have collapsed,” said Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist of L&T Finance Holdings.

The industrial output figure is the latest in a series of worrying economic data in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Earlier in the day, government data showed that India’s power demand fell at the fastest pace in at least 12 years in October, signalling a continued decline in the industrial output. Electricity has about 8pc weighting in the country’s index for industrial production.

The South Asian country needs electricity to fuel its expanding economy but a third decline in power consumption in as many months points to tapering industrial activity in a nation that aims to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024.

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