Diesel and petrol sales have always been a barometer of the economic health of a nation and they are now beginning to reflect the slowdown. It is also interesting to note that though diesel consumption has outstripped that of petrol for decades in India, the past few months are seeing a reversal. Sales data for April to July 2013 show petrol sales, at 11.4 percent, are growing almost twice as fast as diesel (7 percent). Last year in the same period, diesel grew 11.8 percent while petrol lagged with 3.6 percent.
This is due to a variety of reasons, say officials in Bharat Petroleum. Diesel passenger vehicle sales have been slowing down as the government has cut subsidy. Heavy rains across the country have impacted consumption by the transportation and agricultural pump sets sectors. There is also a slowdown in production activity.