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India’s manufacturing sector expanded at a softer pace in May, due to the intensification of the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on demand, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.

The headline IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, fell to 50.8 in May from 55.5 in April.

Any reading above 50.0 indicates expansion in the sector. Economists had expected the reading to drop to 52.0.

New orders increased to the slowest pace since August last year and production volume expanded at a softer pace.

Employment decreased slightly in May due to Covid-19 restrictions and overall buying level rose at the slowest pace in ten months.

Suppliers’ delivery time lengthened in May.

The rate of inflation eased to the lowest in four months in May and the rate of charged inflation increased at a softer pace.

Firms’ sentiment for the next 12 months weakened to the lowest in ten months.

“That said, the detrimental impacts of the pandemic and associated restrictions seen in the manufacturing sector are considerably less severe than during the first lockdown when unprecedented contractions had been recorded,” Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said.


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