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Manufacturing activity slows to 5-month low in March
05 April 2018, 01:08 | Conrad Doyle
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India's manufacturing sector activity fell to a five-month low in March, as new business orders rose at a slower pace, and firms showed little appetite for recruitment, says a monthly survey.
Although the rate of output growth slowed from February, it remained marked amid another sharp increase in new orders.
The services sector, including finance, real estate, and retail, made up around 51.6% of China's output past year, leading analysts to view yesterday's data as a sign of the country's slowing economy.
The Caixin Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) - an indicator of conditions at small manufacturers - dropped to 51.0 in March, down from 51.6 in February, marking the weakest reading since November. In PMI parlance, a print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction.
"With cost inflationary pressures also moderating to provide some respite for margins, the sector looks set to make further slow and steady progress as we head through the spring", Rob Dobson, director at PMI compiler IHS Markit, said.
There would be a limited impact of the United States tariffs on aluminium and steel on India, as the country's exports to the USA in both the metals makes up for almost 0.4% of the overall merchandise exports, stated Dodhia.
As per the PMI report, amid "reports of spare operating capacity", firms reduced their payroll numbers for the first time in eight months, "albeit at a fractional pace". "Business sentiment remained weak in the context of historical data reflecting some concerns regarding business prospects over the next 12 months".
Input prices continued to rise sharply but the rate of inflation eased markedly and was the slowest since July 2017.
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