Mfg activity slows

Manufacturing activity eased to a 22-month low in October on the back of slowing down of new orders, which is posing a fresh challenge for policymakers battling to put the economy on a high growth trajectory .
The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) slowed to 50.7 in October from the previous month's 51.2. This was indicative of a weaker improvement in business conditions across the sector. The 50 point mark separates expansion from contraction and PMI has remained above the threshold since 2013.
The PMI survey is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in over 300 industrial companies and is seen as an advance indicator for manufacturing conditions. The latest data adds pressure on the government to accelerate its reforms process to boost growth and get the investment cycle moving. Growth is estimated in the 7.5-8% range in the current fiscal.
The survey showed rates of expansion in production and order books were the weakest in current 24-month sequences of growth, with panellists reporting challenging economic conditions and a reluctance among clients to commit to new projects.
New business from abroad rose for the twenty-fifth straight month in October However, growth was little changed from the margina pace seen in September. Exports have been hit due to the sluggish global demand and efforts are on to widen the coverage to new markets.

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