India’s Manufacturing Sector stops as COVID cases surge

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Indian COVID-19 rates and deaths held close to record daily highs on May 10. The 366,161 new virus cases and 3,754 deaths published by the health ministry were off a little from recent highs. Remarkably, it took India’s surge to 22.66 million with 246,116 deaths. As it’s known, hospitals run out of beds, oxygen, morgues and crematoria overflow.

In 2020, the swift spread of the COVID-19 pandemic came as a heavy blow to the world economy. As the infection rates in the world’s largest manufacturer skyrocketed, stock markets panicked, and supply chains from China were severed.

In the previous year, it was expected that the shifting global dynamics due to the novel COVID-19 crisis had the potential to pave India’s way into the manufacturing sector. However, in 2021 the country faces the worst grip of a variant of the new coronavirus.

India’s GDP for the first quarter of 2020-21 fell by 23.9%

Manufacturing in India has stopped. Moreover, as the sector with the maximum amount of backward and forward linkages, manufacturing sustains and drives economic rebound. However, restrictions on account of the rise in COVID-19 infections has led to a massive reduction in the manufacturing sector.

In March, PMI (the IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index) declined to a 7-month low of 55.4 from 57.5 in February 2021. Moreover, data for April suggests a slight improvement to 55.5 after falling to a seven-month low in March at 55.4.

India’s GDP for the first quarter of 2020-21 decreased by 23.9%. Meanwhile, the share of the manufacturing sector in total gross value added (GVA), which was 17.5% in Q1 of 2019-20, dipped to 13.8% in this quarter. Growth rate in the manufacturing sector has fallen to -39.3% in Q1 of 2020-21. For consecutive eight quarters manufacturing growth rate has weakened, showing a lack of demand and a deeper structural crisis in the sector worsened by the pandemic-induced lockdowns.

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