India’s manufacturing output remained at historic low levels, as weak demand due to Covid-19 outbreak led to lower production in the month of May.
Accordingly, the latest reading of seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing PMI index pointed to another substantial decline in the health of the Indian manufacturing sector, “albeit one that was slightly softer than recorded in April”.
Consequently, the seasonally adjusted PMI reading inched up to 30.8 in May from 27.4 in April.
According to the survey report, in a sign of further demand weakness, new orders placed with goods producers continued to fall after April’’s record contraction.
“The rate of decline decelerated but was still the second-fastest since the series’’ inception in March 2005. Panellists often mentioned prolonged closures at their clients when explaining the latest reduction in sales,” the survey report said.
“Weak demand from international markets added to the deteriorating sales trend, with new business from abroad plunging further in May. Anecdotal evidence suggested that global measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 continued to stifle exports.”
Furthermore, the index report said that lower production requirements saw Indian manufacturers continue to reduce worker numbers in May.
Commenting on the survey results, Eliot Kerr, Economist at IHS Markit said: “The latest PMI data suggested that Indian manufacturing output fell further in May. This result is particularly poignant given the record contraction in April which was driven by widespread business closures.”
“The further reduction in May highlights the challenges that businesses might face in the recovery from this crisis, with demand remaining subdued while the longevity of the pandemic remains uncertain.”