India Inc expects higher manufacturing sector growth in Jan-March quarter
New Delhi, Feb 12 : Apex business chamber FICCI's quarterly survey on manufacturing released on Monday reveals a sustained and continued period of growth for India's manufacturing sector in the last quarter of financial year 2023-2024.
Compared to the previous quarter, Q3 FY 24, when 73 per cent respondents had reported higher production levels, in the current Q4 FY 2024, around 87 per cent respondents expect either higher or same level of production.
This upbeat assessment of India's manufacturing is also reflected in higher order books. Around 85 per cent of the respondents in Q4 FY 2024 are expecting a higher number of orders compared to the previous quarter. Domestic demand conditions show optimism in the current Q4 2024.
FICCI's latest survey assessed the sentiments of manufacturers for Q4 2023-24 for ten major sectors such as Automotive & Auto Components, Capital Goods & Construction Equipment, Chemicals, Fertilizers and Pharmaceuticals, Electronics & Electricals and FMCG.
Responses have been drawn from over 400 manufacturing units from both large and SME segments with a combined annual turnover of over Rs. 3.4 lakh crores.
The survey shows:
The existing average capacity utilization in manufacturing is around 73 per cent, which reflects sustained economic activity in the sector, which is more or less same as reported in previous surveys
The future investment outlook also looks steady, with over 50 per cent of respondents indicating plans for investments and expansions in the next six months
Challenges related to the availability of raw materials and their escalating prices, uncertainty in global demand, shortage of skilled labor, market volatility, increased power costs, unutilised capacities, and high bank interest rates, etc are some of the major constraints that are affecting expansion plans of the respondents
About 31 per cent respondents reported higher exports in Q3 2023-24. Furthermore, over 40 per cent of the respondents expect their exports to be higher in Q4 2023-24 as compared to the previous year's similar quarters.
The hiring outlook remains stable as close to 40 per cent of the respondents are looking at hiring additional workforce in the next three months.
Average interest rate paid by the manufacturers has been reported to be 9.3 per cent. A little under 45 per cent of the respondents reported that the increase in repo rates in the last few months has led to a slight increase in the lending rate by their banks, thereby increasing their cost of borrowing. Close to 90 per cent of respondents reported sufficient availability of funds from banks-for working capital or long-term capital.