New Delhi : The country’s manufacturing sector activity moderated in July, largely pressured by a modest weakening in demand and output, though overall conditions remained solid, says a monthly survey.

The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) stood at 52.3 in July, down from 53.1 in June.

This is the 12th consecutive month that the manufacturing PMI remained above the 50-point mark. In PMI parlance, a print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction.

“The recent improvement in Indian manufacturing conditions lost some impetus in July, with softer rises in output, new orders and employment,” said Aashna Dodhia, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the report.

Although modest, the latest improvement in the health of the manufacturing sector was the second-strongest after June.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that the sector continued on a steady expansionary path, as production and new business rose at marked rates. Moreover, July survey data pointed to strong demand from both domestic and international sources,” Dodhia said.

Although softening slightly since June, both domestic and export orders rose for the ninth consecutive month in July.

Reflecting sustained periods of growth in output and new orders, firms were encouraged to raise their staffing levels for the fourth successive month in July, the survey added.

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