Factory orders, production rise at slowest rates in 8 months in April

By Administrator_ India

Capital Sands

India’s manufacturing sector activity was largely flat in April, as rates of growth for new orders and output eased to eight-month lows amid the intensification of the COVID-19 crisis, a monthly survey said on Monday.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was at 55.5 in April, little changed from March’s reading of 55.4.

In PMI parlance, a print above 50 means expansion while a score below 50 denotes contraction.

Lima also noted that “the surge in COVID-19 cases could dampen demand further when firms’ financials are already susceptible to the hurdle of rising global prices.”

The daily COVID-19 cases in India showed a slight dip with 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, taking the total tally of cases to 1,99,25,604, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

On the prices front, survey participants also signaled a steep increase in input costs, the quickest since July 2014, and upward revisions to selling prices.

The survey, however, noted that while output and sales increased at the slowest rates since last August due to an intensification of the COVID-19 crisis, there was a faster upturn in international orders.

New export orders increased for the eighth consecutive month in April and at the fastest rate since October 2020. The rise was associated with a pick-up in international demand for Indian goods, the survey said.

On the job front, although manufacturing employment continued to fall, the rate of contraction recorded in April was marginal and the weakest in the current 13-month sequence of job shedding, it noted.

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