India supplied less electricity for the fifth consecutive month in December, in a sign that the country’s industrial activity has not picked up amid an ongoing economic slowdown that is yet to bottom out.
The country’s power supply in December dropped around 1.09 per cent to 101.92 billion units in December from 103.04 billion units in the same month in 2018, according to data from Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO).
The drop in supply is less than what was recorded in the previous three months, but this is the fifth month in a row that the energy demand met has been lower than the year before.
In November, the country’s power supply was 5.46 per cent less, while October’s power supply was 13.17 per cent lower than the same month in 2018, according to data from the government-owned enterprise.
The power supplied in September was 1.66 per cent less than the year before, while August’s power supply was 0.41 per cent lower than in 2018.
Electricity production makes up nearly 20 per cent of the country’s core sector index — a lead indicator of the country’s monthly industrial performance.
Experts have found the contraction in electricity production to be ‘disappointing’, as it reflects low industrial activity. Industry reportedly accounts for more than two-fifths of the country’s annual electricity consumption.
India’s economic growth slipped to an over six-year low of 4.5 per cent in the quarter ended September 2019. The previous low of 4.3 per cent was seen during January-March 2012-13.
Last month, International Monetary Fund chief economist Gita Gopinath had said that India’s economic growth estimates would see a “significant” downward revision by the Washington-based organisation.
“Looking at some of the high frequency indicators, we are not seeing the kind of uptick we projected,” she had said during an industry body’s conference later that month.