Industry

Manufacturing activity reaches a near 8-year high in January

More hands: Firms increased employment at the quickest rate in close to seven-and-a-half years. G.R.N. Somashekar

More hands: Firms increased employment at the quickest rate in close to seven-and-a-half years. G.R.N. Somashekar   | Photo Credit: SOMASHEKAR G R N

Sharp rise in demand drives growth of new business, exports, jobs: IHS Markit

The country’s manufacturing sector activity climbed to a near eight-year high in January, driven by a sharp rise in new business orders amid a rebound in demand conditions that led to a rise in production and hiring activity, a monthly survey said on Monday.

Following a sharp improvement in demand, January saw growth of new business, output, exports, input buying and employment. At the same time, business sentiment strengthened and there were softer rises in both input costs and output charges. The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Puchasing Managers’ Index rose from 52.7 in December to 55.3 in January, its highest level in just under eight years.

“Manufacturing sector growth in India continued to strengthen in January, with operating conditions improving at a pace not seen in close to eight years,” said Pollyanna de Lima, Principal Economist at IHS Markit.

This is the 30th consecutive month the index has remained above the 50-point mark. A print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction. Companies noted the strongest upturn in new business intakes for over five years, which they attributed to better underlying demand and greater client requirements.

The rise in total sales was supported by strengthening demand from external markets, evident from the fastest increase in new export orders since November 2018.

Hiring activity also rose, with firms increasing employment at the quickest rate in close to seven-and-a-half years. Manufacturers were more upbeat about the year-ahead outlook for production.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 12:57:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/manufacturing-activity-reaches-a-near-8-year-high-in-january/article30728786.ece

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