India manufacturing PMI steady in Sept
The HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI), which gauges the business activity of India's factories but not its utilities, held steady at 52.8 in September from 52.8 in August, which was a nine-month low.
Still, the index has remained above 50, which divides growth and contraction, for more than three years.
Measures by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to resuscitate their economies pushed foreign demand for Indian goods higher.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector, held steady supported by faster output growth and rising export orders, said Leif Eskesen, an economist at HSBC. However, a rise in inventories may dampen output growth in coming months.
The export orders sub-index jumped to 53.8 last month from 49.2 in August, its biggest rise in almost two years and the first reading above 50 in three months.
However, the increase in inventories - stocks of purchases and finished goods - suggested factories may reduce output unless the buildup is cleared by faster incoming orders.
Manufacturing accounts for a significant share of India's gross domestic product, so a slowdown would not augur well for Asia's third-largest economy, already grappling with its weakest GDP growth in almost three years. The latest government data showed industrial output growth stalled in July from a year earlier.
Looking ahead, growth in
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