India Industrial Output Surges

Double-digit growth in manufacturing

India's industrial output increased by a better-than-expected 10.4% in August, official data showed on Oct. 12.

The strong year-on-year figures came on the back of double-digit growth in the manufacturing, mining and electricity sectors. Manufacturing production grew by 10.2% in August, electricity by 10.6% and mining by 12.9%.

Economists said the robust figures could press the central bank to up rates to control growing inflationary pressures, although most predict no move before January.

India's industrial performance is expected to help offset the impact on overall economic growth of monsoon rains, which have been the worst in nearly four decades and hurt agricultural output, analysts say. The data were the latest in a series of encouraging figures pointing to recovery in Asia's third-largest economy.

India's economic growth has fallen from the annual nine percent-plus levels the country logged for several years before the start of the global financial crisis. But recent data such as rising sales of passenger cars has spurred expectations that the economy could pick up pace.

The government projects the economy will expand by 6.3% to 6.5% in the current financial year to March 2010.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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