IIP slumps 1.8 pct, shrinks for first time in four months

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An employee works inside a electrical equipments manufacturing unit in New Delhi

An employee works inside a electrical equipments manufacturing unit in New Delhi December 2, 2013. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's industrial production contracted for the first time in four months in October in a sign that economic recovery remains fragile, government data showed on Thursday.

Industrial output slumped 1.8 percent in October after growing 2 percent in September. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted industrial output would contract by 1.2 percent for the month.

The manufacturing sector, which constitutes about 76 percent of industrial production, contracted 2 percent from a year earlier, the statistics ministry said.

Capital goods production, a barometer for investments in the economy, grew 2.3 percent in October from a year earlier.

Industrial activity was hit as the infrastructure output, which includes coal, electricity, cement, crude oil and steel factories contracted.

Output in those industries, which account for more than one-third of overall factory production, fell 0.6 percent annually compared with a reading of 8 percent in September, data released earlier showed.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)