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Manufacturing PMI increased month-on-month basis at slower rate

Manifacturing

Following the seasonal pattern in manufacturing activities, the
manufacturing PMI increased on a month-on-month basis to
an index value of 57.8, yet at a slower rate than the previous
years.

This increase was mainly attributable to the improvements
observed in production, new orders and employment sub-indices
following the seasonal demand.

The increase observed in new orders and production sub-indices,
particularly in the manufacture of textiles & apparel sector, was due
to cover-up arrangements ahead of the seasonal holidays.

Though new orders in the manufacture of food & beverage sector increased in March 2022, catering to the New Year demand, production and
stock of purchases related to the same remain subdued, mainly due
to supply-side constraints.

Many respondents highlighted that fuel shortage amidst scheduled power-cut disturbed their production plans in many aspects, from material supply to transportation of workers. Suppliers’ Delivery Time also lengthened on a month-on-month basis. Moreover, stock of purchases declined due to unavailability of required quantities in the domestic market and
difficulties in opening letters of credit for importing materials.

For the next three months, the overall expectations for
manufacturing activities deteriorated significantly compared to the
previous month due to prevailing uncertain environment in the
country.

Services sector PMI recorded an index value of 51.3 in March
2022 indicating an expansion across the services sector
underpinned by the increases observed in New Businesses,
Business Activities and Employment sub-indices.

New businesses rose at a higher pace in March 2022 compared to
February 2022, particularly with the improvements observed in
financial services, other personal activities, telecommunication and
insurance sub-sectors.

Following the seasonality, Business Activities continued to grow in
March, yet at a slower pace. Accordingly, financial services,
transportation, insurance, real estate, and IT programming
consultancy sub-sectors reported improvements during the month.

Nevertheless, the operational cost pressures, prolonged power cuts
and supply shortages related to the gas, fuel and other inputs negatively affected the business operations of most of the sub-sectors, while rise in cost of living as well as Russia-Ukraine war weakened the demand related to several other services sub-sectors.

Accordingly, business activities particularly related to wholesale and
retail trade, accommodation, food and beverage, human health, and
education sub-sectors recorded deteriorations during the month.
Employment recorded an increase in March due to new
recruitments done primarily to meet the seasonal demand.

Meanwhile, Backlogs of Work continued to decline at a slower pace
during the month.

Expectations for Business Activities for the next three months
deteriorated for the first time since August 2021 with the growing
uncertainties and challenges with prolonged power cuts, supply
shortages of fuel, gas and other inputs, import related issues and
restrictions amid foreign exchange shortage, sharp increases in
input prices with allowing flexibility in the exchange rate, and
political and social unrest in the country.

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