India’s electricity demand declined for the third straight month, another indication of an economic slowdown that seems to be deepening. Electricity demand from distribution utilities declined 13.2% in October from a year earlier, data from the Central Electricity Authority showed. The slump began in August when the power requirement dropped for the first time in more than two years.
Slowing requirement mirrors a widespread slump in demand for consumers goods to cars and houses. Industrialized provinces of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu - both automobile hubs of the country - and Gujarat, a center of textiles and chemicals manufacturing, have also reported a sharp decline in demand.
“The slowdown in industrial activity is responsible for this sharp contraction," said Debasish Mishra, a partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Mumbai. “The extended monsoon has also reduced demand for cooling during the summers and irrigation demand from farmers."
The data comes on the back of Moody’s Investors Service cutting India’s credit rating outlook to negative, citing a slowing economy, credit crunch and rising public debt.
The slowdown isn’t limited to electricity. Monthly consumption of diesel, the most-consumed petroleum fuel and the lifeblood of Indian manufacturing, transport and agriculture, has been declining since June, and hit the lowest level since the start of 2017 in September.
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