New Delhi: In its worst performance in seven months, output of the eight core sectors contracted by 1.3% in November from a year ago period on account of a sharp drop in steel, cement and crude oil production.

The eight core industries—coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity—with a total weightage of nearly 38% in IIP had grown at 8.5% in November 2014.

Last time, the sectors were in negative zone was in April, when they shrank by 0.4%, while the rate of growth rate in October was 3.2%. The cumulative growth rate in April-November came in at 2%, much lower than 6% in the first eight months of the last fiscal.

According to the data released by the ministry of commerce and industry on Thursday, crude oil, natural gas, steel and cement recorded negative growth during the month under review. Crude oil and natural gas production fell by 3.3% and 3.9%, respectively, from (-) 0.1% and (-) 2.3% a year ago. Growth in coal, refinery products and electricity generation output too slowed down to 3.5%, 2.5% and 0%, respectively, from 14.6%, 8.1% and 9.9%, respectively, in November last year. However, fertiliser production grew by 13.5% in November from (-) 2.8% in the same month last year.