May factory output seen at three-month low of 1.6 pct

BANGALORE Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:21am IST

Employees sew clothes at the Estee garment factory in Tirupur, in Tamil Nadu June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal

Employees sew clothes at the Estee garment factory in Tirupur, in Tamil Nadu June 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mansi Thapliyal

Related Topics

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Factory production growth probably eased to a three-month low in May dampened by weak infrastructure sector output, as weak global demand and consumption weigh on a recovery in Asia's third-largest economy, a Reuters poll found.

The median forecast of 23 economists showed output at factories, mines and utilities grew an annual 1.6 percent in May, after an upwardly revised 2.3 percent in April.

Although the consensus estimate showed growth in industrial output for the fifth consecutive month, the pace is a far cry from the near 10 percent seen between late 2009 and 2011.

"Even though it looks like production has been slightly up, if you look within the core sector, the breakdown indicates it is still pretty weak," said Hanna Luchnikava, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

Output in the eight key infrastructure industries, also known as the core sector and which makes up almost 40 percent of the index of industrial production, slowed to an annual 2.3 percent in May, from 2.4 percent in April.

Recent data has shown persistent weakness in the Indian economy, which will not support the fragile recovery seen in the final three months of the previous fiscal year. The economy grew at its slowest annual pace in a decade in the fiscal year that ended in March.

Indeed, private surveys of manufacturing purchasing managers have suggested sluggish growth in the sector over the past few months.

The HSBC Manufacturing PMI survey showed activity in Indian industries flirted with the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction in May and June, even though it has held above that level for over four years.

"Generally the momentum remains weak and some of the other indicators like auto sales and PMI have been pretty subdued and there is no real change in the near future," said Siddhartha Sanyal, chief India economist at Barclays Capital in Mumbai.

Car sales -- a proxy for domestic consumer demand -- fell for the seventh straight month in May, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The overall fall in the 2012/13 fiscal year ending in March was the first in a decade.

Capital goods output, a key barometer of investment, rose an annual 1 percent in April, but consumer demand is expected to remain tepid and weigh on the recovery in Indian factories.

Weak global demand has also hurt Indian factories as annual exports in May fell for the first time in five months. (Reporting By Ashrith Rao Doddi; Polling by Sarbani Haldar and Rahul Karunakar; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Legal Complaints

Legal Complaints

Government's payday from telecoms auction could be delayed  Full Article 

Running State Banks

Running State Banks

India signals private-sector bosses could run state-owned banks  Full Article 

India Forecast Raised

India Forecast Raised

S&P raises India's GDP forecasts, says it's a bright spot in Asia  Full Article 

StanChart CEO

StanChart CEO

StanChart picks ex-JPMorgan exec Winters as CEO to replace Sands  Full Article 

Wockhardt Plant

Wockhardt Plant

Wockhardt says FDA raises new concerns about Waluj plant  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

State-owned banks' capital needs may be higher - RBI deputy  Full Article 

Shares Sale

Shares Sale

Bharti Airtel says raised $310 mln through share sale in tower unit  Full Article 

Inflation Target

Inflation Target

India should meet RBI inflation target by Jan 2016 - RBI deputy  Full Article 

International Exchange

International Exchange

NSE plans to set up international exchange in Gujarat  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage