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May 13, 2002 | 1310 IST
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Survey detects signs of recovery

BS Corporate Bureau

There are definite signs of a pick-up in the economy, especially in some basic goods industries, according to the latest ASCON Industry survey.

Conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the survey maintains economic conditions during the last fiscal look brighter in comparison with the previous one.

Cement sector saw a significant turnaround with production clocking 9.4 per cent growth during 2001-02, said the survey adding that this might be indicative of the pick-up in the housing and construction activities. Since the sector had significant linkages, it was likely that the demand picked up in other sectors also, it said.

The paints sector also registered a growth of 10 per cent, the survey said maintaining that the non-availability of raw-materials was impeding exports from the sector.

Polymer products recorded a 10.4 per cent growth during the last fiscal as against an 11 per cent during the previous year. The sector was likely to maintain a healthy growth of 12 per cent in the next six months, the survey said.

The aluminum sector grew 4.7 per cent in 2001-02 as compared to 9 per cent in the previous year. Although the steel sector also grew 4.4 per cent, the performance was disappointing in comparison to the 10 per cent growth during the previous year.

The survey held actions of the US and the European Union against steel exports responsible for the downtrend in the sector.

The growth in the cast iron spun pipe sector declined 15 per cent during 2001-02 as against a 5 per cent growth in the previous year.

"The basic constraints confronting this sector are poor demand, irregular orders from government departments and competition from cheaper substitutes," the survey said.

The cold-rolled steel sector continued to reel under the slowdown as it registered a 3 per cent decline in its growth in the last fiscal as against a 1.4 per cent growth in the previous one, said the survey. Low international prices of cold-rolled and galvanised sheets hampered the export prospects of the sector, it added.

The crude oil sector's growth declined 1.2 per cent in comparison to a 1.6 per cent growth in the previous year. Fertilisers sector grew 1.5 per cent in comparison to 3.3 per cent in the last financial year. Sponge iron grew 1.3 per cent as against the previous year's 2 per cent growth, said the survey.

The survey hoped that proposed spending on infrastructure and road development projects would help in pushing growth in related manufacturing segments.

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