By Anant Vijay Kala
NEW DELHI--India's industrial output likely stayed weak in September, as mining activity slowed due to monsoon rainfall and manufacturing remained subdued, a poll of economists showed.
Production at factories, mines and utilities likely rose 0.6% from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 14 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. That is slightly better than August's 0.7% decline.
The estimates range between a 1.5% decline in output and a 3.1% increase, with only one analyst predicting a contraction.
"Industrial production for September is likely to record negligible growth owing to expected contraction in mining output and weak growth in the manufacturing sector," said Anjali Verma, chief economist at PhillipCapital.
Industrial output has contracted 1.6% in July and August. Another weak performance could set the economy on track for a further slowdown.
Most recent data show growth in gross domestic product in Asia's third-largest economy slowed significantly to 7.1% in the three months ended June 30, from 7.9% in the preceding quarter.
India receieved normal levels of rainfall for the first time in three years in the June to September monsoon season. While that bodes well for farm production and rural demand, it has caused some disruption to mining activity.
Adding to the problems has been a sharp slowdown in electricity generation, from a nearly 15% expansion in April to a low-single digit rate in recent months.
Some other lead indicators of industrial activity in September are looking positive though.
Official data on the performance of eight key infrastructure industries released last week showed a healthy 5% year-over-year expansion. These industries together contribute 38% to industrial production.
Analysts also expect that consumer demand picked up ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in October, although the bulk of the impact is likely to be felt in that month when the festival was celebrated.
Car sales, another closely watched indicator, rose 15% in September, while exports climbed 4.6% that month, only the second increase in nearly two years.
The government is scheduled to announce the industrial production data on Friday.
Write to Anant Vijay Kala at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 10, 2016 06:05 ET (11:05 GMT)
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