Manufacturing activity growth slows, but still robust

Manufacturing activity growth slows, but still robust

NEW DELHI: Activity in the country’s manufacturing sector grew at its slowest pace in four months in February but remained robust on the back of strong expansion in sales and output while input cost inflation ticked up higher, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was at 55. 3 in February, littlechanged from 55. 4 in January. The headline figure was above its long-run average of 53. 7. The 50-point mark separates expansion from contraction. The survey is compiled from responses to questionnaires sent to purchasing managers in a panel of around 400 manufacturers.
Amid reports of accommodative demand conditions and successful marketing campaigns, manufacturers experienced an increase in new work intakes. The upturn stretched the current sequence of growth to 20 months, according to the survey results.

The manufacturing sector has scripted a recovery after the bruising impact of the Covid-19 but the pace has remained uneven. Slowing exports have also added tothe demand conditions and the survey results show new export orders increased only fractionally. Overall GDP growth is estimated to be 7% for the current fiscal year that ends in March — the strongest expansion amid a global slowdown. “Growth momentum in India’s manufacturing industry was maintained in February, with new orders and output increasing at similar rates to January. Companies were confident in the resiliency of demand and continued to add to their inventories by purchasing additional inputs,” said Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Despite quickening to a four-month high, the rate of inflation was below its long-run average.

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