March manufacturing activity grows at the slowest rate in 4 months

NEW DELHI: The country grew at its slowest pace in four months as the impact of the pandemic weighed on sentiment, clouding the outlook for business confidence, a survey showed on Thursday.

IHS Market India's manufacturing PMI for March was 51.8, below the 54.5 mark recorded in February and the reading marked the slowest improvement in trading conditions since November 2019. The 50-point mark separates the expansion from the contraction. The survey is compiled from responses to questionnaires sent to purchasing managers in a panel of around 400 manufacturers.

“The Indian manufacturing sector remained relatively protected from the negative impact of the global coronavirus outbreak in March. However, there were pockets of disruption and a clear appearance of fear among companies, said Eliot Kerr, an economist at.

New orders and production grew at milder rates, but those readings were relatively subdued compared to those seen by goods producers in Europe and other parts of Asia. The most prominent signs of trouble come from new export orders and future activity indices, which respectively indicated a drop in global demand and a weakening of domestic confidence. If the injection trajectory continues along the same lines, the Indian manufacturing sector can expect a much sharper negative impact in the coming months, similar to the scale seen in other countries, said Kerr.