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<p>At 59.1 in March, India's manufacturing PMI hits 16-year-high</p>
At 59.1 in March, India’s manufacturing PMI hits 16-year-high

BY: Zahid Shaikh

The manufacturing sector registered significant growth for the month of March as the HSBC India Manufacturing PMI Report suggested the Purchasing Managers’ Index at a 16-year high.

This stellar performance, marked by a PMI score of 59.1, signifies a significant expansion in the industry, fuelling optimism about the country’s economic revival.

As per the report, production and sales registered fastest growth since October 2020, indicating a strong revival in demand.

This uptick suggests that businesses are not only meeting existing needs but also ramping up production to cater to a potential future boom. The report highlights the positive outlook with 28% of companies forecasting output growth in the coming year, citing factors like planned marketing initiatives, new product inquiries, and buoyant overall demand.

Further, the report reveals a near-record increase in input stocks, showcasing a strategic move by companies to stockpile raw materials. This significant build-up suggests that manufacturers anticipate continued growth and are taking proactive steps to ensure they have the resources needed to meet future demand. This forward-thinking approach positions them well to capitalize on potential market opportunities.

After a two-month lull, the job market in the manufacturing sector is showing signs of recovery. The report indicates that companies are adding new workers, albeit at a modest pace. This is a positive development, suggesting that the industry is regaining its footing and creating employment opportunities.

While the pace of hiring might be measured, it’s a welcome sign for job seekers and the overall economic health of the sector.

The report highlighted challenges associated with the manufacturing sector which are the rise in input costs, with companies reporting increased expenses for materials like cotton, steel, and iron. This has pushed input costs to a five-month high, raising concerns about inflation.

While manufacturers have prioritized customer retention and kept prices largely stable, the potential for future price hikes due to rising input costs cannot be ignored. Effectively managing inflation will be crucial in ensuring the sustainability of the sector’s growth trajectory.

The overall sentiment among businesses in the manufacturing sector remains optimistic, with a significant portion forecasting output growth in the coming year. However, the report also acknowledges concerns over inflation, which is tempering some of that confidence. This creates a mixed picture for the future. While the current indicators are positive, successfully navigating inflationary pressures will be essential in determining the long-term success of the sector’s revival.

The robust PMI reading paints a positive picture of the Indian manufacturing sector. The strong demand, rising production, and strategic stockpiling all suggest a well-positioned industry poised for growth. However, managing inflation effectively and mitigating its impact on both input costs and consumer prices will be crucial in sustaining this momentum.

By addressing these challenges, the Indian manufacturing sector can solidify its revival and play a key role in driving the country’s economic resurgence.

  • Published On Apr 2, 2024 at 03:51 PM IST

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