Industrial output in March fell sharply for the first time in five months, dragged down by a decline in manufacturing and mining sectors, prompting calls for easing interest rates and implementing policy decisions swiftly. Data released by the Central Statistics Office showed industrial output in March fell 3.5%, against an expansion of 9.4% in the same month a year ago. The manufacturing sector was down 4.4% in March compared to 11% growth in March 2011 while the mining sector fell 1.3% against an expansion of 0.4% in the same period last year. The industrial sector rose 4.1% in February, but poor performance of the crucial infrastructure sector has hurt overall growth. Industrial growth in 2011-12 stood at 2.8% compared to 8.2% in the previous year and almost near similar levels in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008-09.