India’s industrial output reduced sharply in March to 4.4 percent from a rise of 7 percent in February 2018, according to official data released by the Ministry of Statistics.

In February industrial output declined to 7.13 per cent from 7.39 per cent in January 2018. However, it grew by 1.2 per cent compared to corresponding period last year. In the month of February, the sequential slowdown was due to lower production in the mining sector.

Capital goods output registered a surprise decline of 1.8 percent against 2.9 percent and 8.8 percent growth in primary goods, and the infrastructure and construction goods segment in March over last year. Consumer non-durables went up by 10.9 percent against 2.9 percent decline in consumer durables.

The sharp decline has come at the when the GST collection in April crossed the mark of Rs 1 lakh crore mark for the first time, suggesting that GST regime has stabilised after recording low collection in the first few months of implementation.

Jaitley said in a tweet “GST collections in April exceeding Rs 1 lakh crore is a landmark achievement and a confirmation of increased economic activity as brought out by other reports,” the finance minister said.

The numbers, however, released have shown decreased industrial output in the month of March.