New Delhi: In a poor performance, the eight core industries grew by 0.5 per cent in January mainly due to slackening output of crude oil, steel, natural gas and petroleum refinery products.
    
The eight core industries, which include coal, cement, fertilisers and electricity, had recorded a growth rate of 6.4 per cent in January 2011.
    
During December 2011, the core sectors recorded a growth of 3.1 per cent against 6.3 per cent same period previous year.
    
For the April-January this fiscal, the growth was lower at 4.1 per cent compared to 5.7 per cent in the corresponding period of 2010-11 in wake of deceleration in investment.
    
The eight industries together contribute 37.9 per cent in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
    
As per the data released by Commerce and Industry Ministry, crude oil production contracted by 2 per cent in January 2012 against 10.8 per cent in the same month last year.
    
Natural gas production too contracted by 8.9 per cent against (-) 6.3 per cent year-on-year.
    
In January, the petroleum refinery output contracted to 4.6 per cent from 8.7 per cent and steel production declined by (-) 2.9 per cent from 8.7 per cent.
    
On the other hand, coal output went up by 7.5 per cent from (-) 1.3 per cent year-on-year.
    
Fertilisers segment expanded by 4 per cent from 5.9 per cent, cement by 10.6 per cent from 1.8 per cent and electricity by 2.4 per cent from 9.7 per cent.

(Agencies)