Would you believe it if we told you that the industry that is growing at the most manic pace right now is the production of wood and its derivative products?
This column has earlier commented on the fact that some of the recent industrial production numbers have been inflated by the boom in the wood industry. The story repeats itself in the latest data for June 2007. While the overall index of industrial production grew at 9.8%, wood production was an astonishing 104% higher than a year ago. What’s more, this is the sixth month in a row when production of wood and wood products has doubled.
What’s up? One obvious answer is that this is some statistical quirk that has escaped the attention of the nation’s bean counters. But a recent research report by Citigroup offers another possibility: the huge demand for plywood and particle boards is an indication of strong housing demand in India. Touch wood.