India's manufacturing sector displayed quick expansion in March due to increased productivity and new orders.
However, companies cut jobs for the first time in over a year, according to a private business survey released on Monday (3 April).
Input cost inflation fell, while output recorded the strongest growth since December 2022.
S&P Global's Manufacturing "PMI" rose to 56.4 in March, exceeding February's 55.3, and remained above the 50-point level indicating growth for 21 consecutive months.
"PMI" is short for Purchasing Managers' Index. According to S&P Global, PMI is a survey-based economic indicator designed to provide a timely insight into business conditions.
The job market contracted for the first time in 13 months, but job losses were minimal. Concerns around competitiveness and inflation caused a decline in optimism about future output, hitting an eight-month low.
India's economy, ranked third in Asia, may fare better than others amid a potential global downturn with projected growth rates of 6.9 per cent this fiscal year and 6 per cent in the next.
Overall demand rose last month, per new orders sub-index, with a faster expansion of foreign demand compared to February.
Input cost inflation decreased to the second-lowest level in 2.5 years, but companies did increase output prices (cost to customers) due to higher labour and raw material expenses, which resulted in a rise in the output prices sub-index to 52.0 from 51.8.
As a result, retail inflation is projected to remain high in the upcoming months, with an anticipated average of 6.7 per cent for this fiscal year, gradually decreasing to 5.2 per cent in the next, still exceeding the Reserve Bank of India's 4 per cent target, according to a Reuters poll.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!