India's industrial production rose just 0.6 percent in February from a year earlier, official data showed Friday, indicating Asia's third-largest economy remains fragile.
But the increase in output at India's factories, mines and utilities outpaced analysts' expectations of a 1.0-percent decline, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll, and followed a preliminary 2.4-percent rise in January.
Manufacturing, which accounts for three-quarters of India's Index of Industrial Production, grew 2.2 percent in February from a year earlier.
"Mining activity is contracting and manufacturing is growing only slowly because of weak domestic sales and tepid export demand," Moody's Analytics said ahead of release of the figures.
Soft domestic demand was underscored by figures this week showing car sales in India's once-booming passenger market had suffered their first annual fall in a decade.
The government forecasts India's economy will grow by around six percent in the current financial year after expanding at an estimated decade-low of 5.0 percent the previous year.
While such growth rates are enviable by anaemic Western standards, the expansion is insufficient to create the tens of millions of jobs the country of 1.2 billion needs to generate for its fast-growing young population.
The economy has been hit by elevated interest rates in the face of stubbornly strong inflation, falling exports and slow investment.
Nomura analyst Candy Cheung has projected industrial growth to remain weak due to relatively weak global demand, as well as supply bottlenecks caused by India's dilapidated highways, ports and other infrastructure.