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Outlook for Q2 manufacturing improves; high cost of production causes worry - New Delhi News

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) As economic activities gain momentum, industry players are turning optimistic about the performance of the manufacturing sector.

Updated Sep 12, 2021 08:03 AM

Outlook for Q2 manufacturing improves; high cost of production causes worry - New Delhi News

The FICCI Manufacturing Survey for July-September showed that after experiencing subdued Q1 (April-June 2021-22), the outlook seems to have improved significantly in Q2.

The percentage of respondents reporting higher production in second quarter of 2021-22 was much above the 50 per cent mark -- around 61 per cent. This was significantly higher than the similar percentage of last year's Q2 quarter (around 24 per cent).

A FICCI statement also said that the assessment is also reflective in order books as 72 per cent of the respondents in July-September 2021-22 expected a higher number of orders in comparison to April-June 2021-22.

However, the survey revealed that a high percentage of respondents are experiencing rising costs of doing business and production.

The cost of production as a percentage of sales for manufacturers in the survey has increased for 80 per cent respondents in Q1 2021-22. This is considerably higher than that reported in Q4 2020-21, where 72 per cent respondents recorded an increase in their production costs.

"Industry respondents have attributed the hike in productions costs primarily to high fixed costs, higher overhead costs for ensuring safety protocols, drastic reduction in volumes due to lockdown, lower capacity utilisation, high freight charges and other logistic costs, increased cost of raw materials, power cost and high interest rates," the statement said.

The latest quarterly survey assessed the sentiments of manufacturers for Q2 (July-September 2021-22) for eleven major sectors namely automotive, capital goods, cement and ceramics, chemicals, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals, electronics and electricals, metal and metal products, paper products, textiles, textiles machinery, toys and miscellaneous.

Responses have been drawn from over 300 manufacturing units from both large and SME segments with a combined annual turnover of over 2.7 lakh crore.

The survey showed that the overall capacity utilisation in manufacturing was 72 per cent in Q2 2021-22, which again reflects signs of recovery in manufacturing. The future investment outlook, however, remains that of cautious optimism, as 32 per cent respondents reported plans for capacity additions for the next six months.

It also noted that the cost of doing business remains a cause for concern for the sector.

High raw material prices, high cost of finance, uncertainty of demand, shortage of skilled labour and working capital, high logistics cost, low domestic and global demand, excess capacities due to high volume of cheap imports into India, unstable market, high power tariff, are some of the major constraints which are affecting expansion plans of the respondents, it said.

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