Indian industrial output rose at its fastest pace in nearly a year and half in June, official data showed on Wednesday in a sign that Asia's third-biggest economy is emerging from a downturn.
Industrial production increased 7.8 per cent from a year earlier in June, after a 2.2-per cent rise in May, data from the Central Statistical Organisation showed.
The rate of expansion was the highest since February 2008 when industrial output had risen 8.6 per cent.
The manufacturing sector, which accounts for two-thirds of industrial production, showed growth of 7.3 per cent in June, while output of durable consumer products rose 15.5 per cent and capital goods by 11.8 per cent.
"The capital goods and manufacturing goods numbers point to a momentum building up," said A Prasanna, an economist at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, quoted by Dow Jones Newswires.
"The subsequent month numbers will also be good, though not probably as high," he added.
The data was a bright spot as the country struggles with weak monsoon rains, which analysts say could slow overall Indian growth because of the dependence of the economy on agriculture and the large rural workforce.
New Delhi launched two fiscal stimulus packages to help the economy during the dark days of the global financial crisis and the central bank has cut interest rates to encourage borrowing.
Lower interest rates were credited as a factor that led Indian car sales to jump by nearly a third in July.
Passenger car sales rose 31 per cent to 115,067 units in July from 87,901 units a year ago, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said in a statement last Friday.