MUMBAI: India’s manufacturing sector in February grew at its weakest pace since September, with output and new orders growing at softer rates, said HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
The PMI, which is a composite indicator designed to provide an overall view of activity in the manufacturing sector and acts as a leading indicator for the whole economy, also noted that companies lowered their workforce numbers.
“Manufacturing growth in India lost momentum in February, with output and new orders expanding at softer rates than those seen in the past four months,’’ Pollyanna De Lima, Economist at Markit, which helps generate the PMI.
“Output charge inflation was historically muted as some manufacturers offered discounts due to a competitive environment.Furthermore, costs fell for the first time in almost six years.’’ In terms of the index PMI declined to 51.2 in February compared with 52.9 in the earlier month, hitting a five month low. The slowdown was broad-based by sector, with softer increases recorded in the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sub-sectors. Growth of new work was hindered by poor domestic demand even as new export business showed a stronger rate. Yet, weakening inflation rate also reduced the price that producers paid for their inputs. This was the first such dip in five years.