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Financial News: India Manufacturing Growth Expands At Steady Pace

India Manufacturing Growth Expands At Steady Pace

10/01/2019 - 04:37:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - India's manufacturing growth expanded at a steady pace in September as subdued demand caused manufacturers to reduce production, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.

The headline IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, remained unchanged at 51.4 in September. The reading was the lowest since May 2018. Any score above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The PMI average for the September quarter was the joint-lowest since the same period in 2017.

Manufacturing production increased in September, but the pace of expansion was the slowest since March 2018. Driven by the consumer goods sector, total sales increased, at the weakest pace seen in the twenty-three month sequence of expansion.

New export orders moved towards stagnation, barely growing in September. Bleak demand conditions led to a second consecutive decline in purchase of inventories.

Stock of finished goods contracted in September, while outstanding business increased marginally, which lead to a rise in job creation.

Cost burden on manufacturers was the weakest seen in a decade and selling prices rose only marginally.

Business confidence among Indian manufacturers decreased with the optimism falling to the second lowest level in over two-and-a-half years.

Some are looking forward to a pick-up in demand and investment in marketing to lift output in the year ahead, while others remain concerned about competitive pressures and tough market conditions.

"In September alone, forward-looking indicators such as business confidence and quantities of purchases were down, suggesting that companies are bracing themselves for difficult times ahead," Pollyanna de Lima, principal economist at IHS Markit, said.

"That said, public policy stimulus could potentially help the sector gain growth momentum, such as another reduction in the benchmark interest rate in August and the recent announcement of cuts to corporate taxes."

Given the weak economic growth data and muted inflationary pressures signaled by the PMI survey, IHS Markit expects to see further monetary easing in the coming months, the economist added.

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