The eight core industries in August contracted to over three-and-half year low of 0.5 per cent, due to decline in output of coal, crude oil, natural gas, cement, and electricity, according to a government data released on Monday.
The eight core sector industries - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity - had expanded by 4.7 per cent in August last year.
The previous low was recorded at (-) 1.3 in November 2015.
Coal, crude oil, natural gas, cement, and electricity recorded a negative growth of 8.6 per cent, 5.4 per cent , 3.9 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively, in August, according to the data of the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
However, fertiliser and steel production grew by 2.9 per cent, and 5 per cent, respectively, during the month under review.
Growth rate in the production of refinery products dipped by 2.6 per cent in August this year as against 5.1 per cent in the same month last year.
During April-August, growth in the eight core industries grew by 2.4 per cent from 5.7 per cent in the year-ago period.
Commenting on the data, rating firm Icra Ltd said: "The performance of the core sectors in August 2019 was disappointingly weak, with a broad-based deterioration in six of the eight constituents and as many as five sectors recording a year-on-year contraction in that month".
The contraction in the core sector growth in August 2019 confirms the view that the modest pickup in the IIP growth in July did not signal the start of an industrial recovery, it added in a statement.