Manufacturing activity slows: March 2018

Manufacturing activity grew at its slowest pace in five months in March as output and new orders expanded at weaker rates, a survey showed, while reporting employment decreases for the first time in eight months.

The Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI slowed to 51 in March from February’s 52.1. The 50-point mark separates expansion from contraction. The survey is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in over 400 industrial companies.

Several data points released in the past few months had signalled a recovery in the manufacturing sector as the economy absorbed the shocks due to demonetisation and initial rollout glitches linked to the GST.

Amid a slower than expected pace of recovery in consumer spending, IHS Markit marginally downgraded its real GDP forecast to 7.3% for 2018-19.

Indian goods manufacturers raised their output for the eighth successive month during March.

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