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Date : Oct 09, 2020
Industrial Outlook Survey of the Manufacturing Sector for Q2:2020-21

Today, the Reserve Bank released the results of the 91st round of the Industrial Outlook Survey (IOS) conducted during July-September 2020. The survey encapsulates qualitative assessment of the business climate by Indian manufacturing companies for Q2:2020-21 and their expectations for Q3:2020-211. In all, 959 companies responded in this round of the survey. Owing to uncertainty driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, an additional block was included in this round of the survey for assessing the manufacturers’ outlook on key parameters for two and three quarters ahead.

Highlights:

A. Assessment for Q2: 2020-21

  • Manufacturing companies assessed upturn in production, capacity utilisation and order books during Q2:2020-21 from the unprecedented contraction in the previous quarter.

  • Respondents indicated frail sentiments on employment and external demand conditions.

  • Overall financial situation was assessed to have improved.

  • Respondents maintained negative sentiments on selling prices and profit margins in Q2:2020-21, though pessimism moderated.

  • Overall business sentiment in the Indian manufacturing sector, as reflected by the business assessment index (BAI)2, surged from a record low at 55.3 in Q1:2020-21 to 96.2 in Q2:2020-21, though it remained in the contraction zone.

B. Expectations for Q3: 2020-21

  • Manufacturers expect further improvements in production, capacity utilisation and order books in Q3:2020-21.

  • Going forward, respondents polled some recovery in external demand situation and job landscape.

  • Overall financial situation and availability of finance portrayed optimism.

  • Outlook on profit margins for Q3:2020-21 remained negative.

  • The business expectations index (BEI) reverted to the expansion zone and stood at 111.4 in Q3:2020-21 from 99.5 in the previous quarter.


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Table A: Summary of Net responses3 on Survey Parameters
(per cent)
Parameters Assessment period Expectation period
Q1:2020-21 Q2:2020-21 Q2:2020-21 Q3:2020-21
Production -63.9 10.3 11.2 26.4
Order Books -54.9 5.9 8.0 20.6
Pending Orders 41.2 22.8 26.0 14.2
Capacity Utilisation -61.6 1.6 7.6 17.5
Inventory of Raw Materials -7.8 -5.8 -5.9 -4.2
Inventory of Finished Goods -12.6 -8.7 -7.6 -5.3
Exports -41.7 -0.6 -3.8 7.5
Imports -32.9 -2.8 -1.0 4.9
Employment -28.6 -9.2 -7.7 2.4
Financial Situation (Overall) -48.9 7.8 11.4 25.3
Availability of Finance (from internal accruals) -30.8 3.8 6.4 15.1
Availability of Finance (from banks & other sources) -3.0 12.0 10.6 13.6
Availability of Finance (from overseas, if applicable) -10.3 -0.6 -2.0 0.6
Cost of Finance -0.4 -2.8 -6.7 -6.7
Cost of Raw Material -29.3 -38.0 -32.0 -32.1
Salary/ Other Remuneration 9.6 -2.8 -4.0 -9.0
Selling Price -17.1 -5.8 -6.0 -0.2
Profit Margin -56.8 -26.5 -26.8 -12.0
Overall Business Situation -60.2 11.8 15.7 32.9
Note: Please see the excel file for time series data

C. Expectations for Q4:2020-21 and Q1:2021-22

  • Manufacturers polled improvement in key demand indicators in Q4:2020-21 sustaining through Q1:2021-22 (Table B).

  • Purchase of inputs is likely to exert higher pressure.

  • Respondents indicated gradual hardening of output prices.

Table B: Business Expectations of Select Parameters for extended period – Net response
(per cent)
Parameters Round 90 Round 91
Q2:2020-21 Q3:2020-21 Q4:2020-21 Q1:2021-22
Overall Business Situation 15.7 32.9 35.7 34.9
Production 11.2 26.4 33.6 32.3
Order Books 8.0 20.6 28.0 23.3
Capacity Utilisation 7.6 17.5 28.3 24.7
Employment -7.7 2.4 12.7 12.6
Cost of Raw Materials -32.0 -32.1 -36.1 -33.1
Selling Prices -6.0 -0.2 10.2 14.4

Table 1: Assessment and Expectations for Production
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 26.5 28.4 45.2 -1.9 40.1 11.0 48.9 29.1
Q3:2019-20 775 28.7 28.3 43.1 0.4 34.8 21.0 44.2 13.9
Q4:2019-20 860 33.6 19.8 46.6 13.8 35.4 18.2 46.4 17.2
Q1:2020-21 802 8.3 72.2 19.5 -63.9 37.8 14.1 48.1 23.7
Q2:2020-21 959 42.4 32.1 25.5 10.3 41.4 30.2 28.5 11.2
Q3:2020-21           43.4 16.9 39.7 26.4
‘Increase’ in production is optimistic.
Note: The sum of components may not add up to total due to rounding off (This is applicable for all tables).

Table 2: Assessment and Expectations for Order Books
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 27.4 30.2 42.5 -2.8 31.6 11.1 57.3 20.5
Q3:2019-20 775 26.9 26.6 46.5 0.3 34.3 20.4 45.3 13.9
Q4:2019-20 860 30.1 20.1 49.9 10.0 33.6 17.0 49.3 16.6
Q1:2020-21 802 8.9 63.8 27.3 -54.9 33.5 15.1 51.4 18.4
Q2:2020-21 959 37.2 31.3 31.5 5.9 36.4 28.4 35.3 8.0
Q3:2020-21           39.2 18.6 42.2 20.6
‘Increase’ in order books is optimistic.

Table 3: Assessment and Expectations for Pending Orders
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Above Normal Below Normal Normal Net response Above Normal Below Normal Normal Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 4.5 25.5 70.0 21.0 16.1 9.4 74.5 -6.7
Q3:2019-20 775 3.4 25.5 71.1 22.1 3.9 18.3 77.8 14.4
Q4:2019-20 860 4.1 18.5 77.4 14.4 3.7 19.5 76.8 15.9
Q1:2020-21 802 6.1 47.3 46.6 41.2 4.6 16.2 79.1 11.6
Q2:2020-21 959 7.2 30.1 62.7 22.8 5.8 31.8 62.4 26.0
Q3:2020-21           7.4 21.5 71.1 14.2
Pending orders ‘Below Normal’ is optimistic.

Table 4: Assessment and Expectations for Capacity Utilisation (Main Product)
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 15.9 24.9 59.2 -9.0 23.1 9.2 67.7 13.9
Q3:2019-20 775 17.5 25.8 56.7 -8.3 24.4 20.0 55.6 4.4
Q4:2019-20 860 21.0 19.0 60.0 2.0 23.1 15.2 61.6 7.9
Q1:2020-21 802 6.0 67.6 26.3 -61.6 25.5 14.2 60.3 11.3
Q2:2020-21 959 31.8 30.2 37.9 1.6 36.2 28.6 35.2 7.6
Q3:2020-21           32.4 15.0 52.6 17.5
‘Increase’ in capacity utilisation is optimistic.

Table 5: Assessment and Expectations for Level of CU (compared to the average in last 4 quarters)
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Above Normal Below Normal Normal Net response Above Normal Below Normal Normal Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 8.1 26.6 65.3 -18.6 9.2 8.8 82.0 0.3
Q3:2019-20 775 6.6 26.9 66.5 -20.3 9.3 21.7 69.0 -12.4
Q4:2019-20 860 7.6 21.6 70.7 -14.0 7.9 18.5 73.6 -10.6
Q1:2020-21 802 2.7 63.6 33.7 -60.9 9.1 16.4 74.5 -7.3
Q2:2020-21 959 5.9 43.4 50.8 -37.5 5.8 39.2 55.0 -33.5
Q3:2020-21           8.3 25.5 66.2 -17.2
‘Above Normal’ in Level of capacity utilisation is optimistic.

Table 6: Assessment and Expectations for Assessment of Production Capacity (with regard to expected demand in next 6 months)
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
More than adequate Less than adequate Adequate Net response More than adequate Less than adequate Adequate Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 15.1 14.2 70.7 0.9 13.5 6.9 79.6 6.6
Q3:2019-20 775 15.8 11.7 72.5 4.2 15.3 12.4 72.2 2.9
Q4:2019-20 860 14.3 9.5 76.2 4.8 14.6 11.4 74.0 3.2
Q1:2020-21 802 19.0 24.5 56.5 -5.6 13.7 8.8 77.5 4.9
Q2:2020-21 959 15.9 17.2 66.9 -1.3 18.7 17.3 64.0 1.3
Q3:2020-21           15.9 12.3 71.8 3.5
‘More than adequate’ in Assessment of Production Capacity is optimistic.

Table 7: Assessment and Expectations for Exports
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 21.3 21.3 57.5 0.0 24.0 8.2 67.8 15.8
Q3:2019-20 775 18.3 19.2 62.5 -0.9 24.3 17.0 58.7 7.3
Q4:2019-20 860 20.1 14.3 65.5 5.8 22.4 13.8 63.9 8.6
Q1:2020-21 802 8.7 50.4 40.9 -41.7 22.5 11.5 66.0 11.0
Q2:2020-21 959 25.3 25.9 48.8 -0.6 23.1 26.9 50.0 -3.8
Q3:2020-21           25.1 17.6 57.3 7.5
‘Increase’ in exports is optimistic.

Table 8: Assessment and Expectations for Imports
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 16.0 14.5 69.6 1.5 18.4 7.4 74.2 11.1
Q3:2019-20 775 13.2 12.3 74.5 0.9 18.1 11.7 70.2 6.4
Q4:2019-20 860 16.0 11.3 72.7 4.7 15.7 10.2 74.1 5.4
Q1:2020-21 802 7.6 40.5 51.8 -32.9 16.9 10.3 72.8 6.6
Q2:2020-21 959 18.4 21.2 60.5 -2.8 19.9 21.0 59.1 -1.0
Q3:2020-21           17.3 12.4 70.4 4.9
‘Increase’ in imports is optimistic.

Table 9: Assessment and Expectations for level of Raw Materials Inventory
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Above average Below average Average Net response Above average Below average Average Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 17.1 8.4 74.5 -8.6 11.8 4.2 84.0 -7.7
Q3:2019-20 775 13.9 7.7 78.4 -6.2 13.2 6.6 80.3 -6.6
Q4:2019-20 860 12.9 7.8 79.3 -5.1 10.6 7.0 82.4 -3.6
Q1:2020-21 802 21.3 13.5 65.2 -7.8 9.8 6.9 83.3 -2.9
Q2:2020-21 959 16.7 10.9 72.3 -5.8 15.5 9.7 74.8 -5.9
Q3:2020-21           11.5 7.4 81.1 -4.2
‘Below average’ Inventory of raw materials is optimistic.

Table 10: Assessment and Expectations for level of Finished Goods Inventory
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Above average Below average Average Net response Above average Below average Average Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 22.5 8.0 69.5 -14.5 13.0 6.0 81.0 -7.0
Q3:2019-20 775 18.3 7.3 74.4 -11.0 15.7 5.0 79.3 -10.7
Q4:2019-20 860 13.3 6.7 80.0 -6.5 12.9 6.2 80.9 -6.7
Q1:2020-21 802 27.0 14.3 58.7 -12.6 10.4 6.2 83.4 -4.3
Q2:2020-21 959 18.9 10.2 70.9 -8.7 17.2 9.5 73.3 -7.6
Q3:2020-21           12.4 7.2 80.4 -5.3
‘Below average’ Inventory of finished goods is optimistic.

Table 11: Assessment and Expectations for Employment
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 13.4 14.2 72.4 -0.9 16.6 5.7 77.7 10.9
Q3:2019-20 775 12.2 13.8 74.0 -1.6 12.1 11.4 76.5 0.7
Q4:2019-20 860 13.4 11.3 75.3 2.0 12.5 10.7 76.8 1.8
Q1:2020-21 802 3.9 32.5 63.7 -28.6 14.3 9.0 76.7 5.2
Q2:2020-21 959 11.8 21.0 67.2 -9.2 11.0 18.7 70.3 -7.7
Q3:2020-21           14.5 12.1 73.3 2.4
‘Increase’ in employment is optimistic.

Table 12: Assessment and Expectations for Overall Financial Situation
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Better Worsen No change Net response Better Worsen No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 21.2 22.2 56.6 -1.1 34.3 6.1 59.6 28.3
Q3:2019-20 775 24.6 19.3 56.1 5.3 30.6 14.8 54.7 15.8
Q4:2019-20 860 26.5 13.6 59.9 12.8 31.2 11.7 57.1 19.5
Q1:2020-21 802 8.7 57.6 33.6 -48.9 33.1 8.8 58.0 24.3
Q2:2020-21 959 31.8 23.9 44.3 7.8 34.6 23.2 42.2 11.4
Q3:2020-21           36.7 11.4 51.9 25.3
‘Better’ overall financial situation is optimistic.

Table 13: Assessment and Expectations for Working Capital Finance Requirement
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 28.4 10.7 60.9 17.7 27.7 5.5 66.8 22.1
Q3:2019-20 775 27.4 8.7 63.9 18.7 29.3 5.5 65.3 23.8
Q4:2019-20 860 28.3 6.4 65.4 21.9 27.3 5.7 66.9 21.6
Q1:2020-21 802 36.9 18.8 44.4 18.1 28.8 5.7 65.5 23.1
Q2:2020-21 959 33.3 11.4 55.3 21.9 37.2 11.5 51.3 25.7
Q3:2020-21           31.3 6.9 61.8 24.4
‘Increase’ in working capital finance is optimistic.

Table 14: Assessment and Expectations for Availability of Finance (from Internal Accruals)
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Improve Worsen No change Net response Improve Worsen No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 19.6 12.7 67.7 6.9 23.0 5.7 71.3 17.3
Q3:2019-20 775 19.0 12.4 68.6 6.6 21.4 8.1 70.5 13.2
Q4:2019-20 860 23.1 9.5 67.4 13.7 22.1 8.8 69.1 13.4
Q1:2020-21 802 7.2 38.0 54.8 -30.8 23.1 6.0 70.9 17.0
Q2:2020-21 959 22.2 18.4 59.5 3.8 22.5 16.1 61.3 6.4
Q3:2020-21           24.8 9.7 65.5 15.1
‘Improvement’ in availability of finance is optimistic.

Table 15: Assessment and Expectations for Availability of Finance (from banks and other sources)
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Improve Worsen No change Net response Improve Worsen No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 14.3 10.0 75.8 4.3 17.4 4.4 78.2 13.0
Q3:2019-20 775 14.6 7.4 78.1 7.2 18.7 6.0 75.3 12.7
Q4:2019-20 860 16.9 6.1 76.9 10.8 17.7 5.9 76.4 11.7
Q1:2020-21 802 12.9 15.8 71.3 -3.0 18.1 6.4 75.4 11.7
Q2:2020-21 959 20.3 8.3 71.4 12.0 20.4 9.8 69.8 10.6
Q3:2020-21           19.4 5.8 74.8 13.6
‘Improvement’ in availability of finance is optimistic.

Table 16: Assessment and Expectations for Availability of Finance (from overseas, if applicable)
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Improve Worsen No change Net response Improve Worsen No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 6.9 4.1 89.1 2.8 13.1 3.5 83.5 9.6
Q3:2019-20 775 7.5 5.0 87.6 2.5 9.2 4.1 86.7 5.1
Q4:2019-20 860 7.2 4.4 88.4 2.8 7.3 4.3 88.4 3.0
Q1:2020-21 802 3.2 13.5 83.3 -10.3 7.9 4.0 88.1 4.0
Q2:2020-21 959 6.8 7.4 85.7 -0.6 7.9 9.9 82.2 -2.0
Q3:2020-21           7.2 6.6 86.1 0.6
‘Improvement’ in availability of finance is optimistic.

Table 17: Assessment and Expectations for Cost of Finance
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 21.3 8.1 70.6 -13.1 22.5 7.1 70.4 -15.4
Q3:2019-20 775 16.9 8.2 74.9 -8.7 18.5 8.4 73.1 -10.0
Q4:2019-20 860 15.0 8.4 76.6 -6.6 15.0 7.1 77.9 -7.9
Q1:2020-21 802 16.3 15.9 67.8 -0.4 12.7 6.6 80.6 -6.1
Q2:2020-21 959 17.5 14.7 67.7 -2.8 17.6 10.9 71.5 -6.7
Q3:2020-21           15.5 8.8 75.7 -6.7
‘Decrease’ in cost of finance is optimistic.

Table 18: Assessment and Expectations for Cost of Raw Materials
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 42.4 7.1 50.5 -35.3 31.4 3.8 64.8 -27.6
Q3:2019-20 775 37.2 11.1 51.7 -26.1 37.0 6.2 56.8 -30.8
Q4:2019-20 860 41.1 7.1 51.8 -34.1 35.6 5.6 58.8 -30.0
Q1:2020-21 802 39.9 10.7 49.4 -29.3 38.9 5.3 55.7 -33.6
Q2:2020-21 959 46.1 8.2 45.7 -38.0 37.8 5.7 56.5 -32.0
Q3:2020-21           36.7 4.6 58.7 -32.1
‘Decrease’ in cost of raw materials is optimistic.

Table 19: Assessment and Expectations for Salary/Other Remuneration
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 38.6 2.6 58.8 -36.0 34.5 0.9 64.6 -33.7
Q3:2019-20 775 30.6 3.6 65.8 -27.0 25.0 1.8 73.2 -23.2
Q4:2019-20 860 27.1 2.3 70.6 -24.8 25.1 3.0 71.9 -22.1
Q1:2020-21 802 12.4 22.0 65.5 9.6 35.8 2.7 61.5 -33.1
Q2:2020-21 959 15.7 12.9 71.4 -2.8 16.5 12.5 70.9 -4.0
Q3:2020-21           15.8 6.8 77.4 -9.0
‘Decrease’ in Salary / other remuneration is optimistic.

Table 20: Assessment and Expectations for Selling Price
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 13.8 21.4 64.8 -7.6 15.5 8.4 76.1 7.1
Q3:2019-20 775 12.0 21.6 66.4 -9.6 18.6 14.0 67.3 4.6
Q4:2019-20 860 16.4 13.9 69.7 2.5 15.2 13.0 71.9 2.2
Q1:2020-21 802 9.5 26.6 64.0 -17.1 18.0 9.7 72.3 8.3
Q2:2020-21 959 13.9 19.7 66.4 -5.8 12.9 18.9 68.1 -6.0
Q3:2020-21           12.8 13.0 74.3 -0.2
‘Increase’ in selling price is optimistic.

Table 21: Assessment and Expectations for Profit Margin
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Increase Decrease No change Net response Increase Decrease No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 13.5 36.1 50.4 -22.6 21.9 14.5 63.6 7.4
Q3:2019-20 775 12.3 34.4 53.3 -22.1 17.6 26.1 56.3 -8.5
Q4:2019-20 860 15.8 27.4 56.8 -11.6 16.3 26.4 57.3 -10.2
Q1:2020-21 802 5.0 61.8 33.2 -56.8 17.5 20.4 62.1 -2.9
Q2:2020-21 959 15.3 41.8 43.0 -26.5 13.7 40.5 45.8 -26.8
Q3:2020-21           14.7 26.7 58.6 -12.0
‘Increase’ in profit margin is optimistic.

Table 22: Assessment and Expectations for Overall Business Situation
(Percentage responses)
Quarter Total response Assessment Expectations
Better Worsen No change Net response Better Worsen No change Net response
Q2:2019-20 481 24.5 25.4 50.1 -0.8 41.1 6.0 52.9 35.2
Q3:2019-20 775 26.4 22.9 50.8 3.5 37.3 15.6 47.1 21.7
Q4:2019-20 860 31.6 15.8 52.6 15.7 35.8 13.2 50.9 22.6
Q1:2020-21 802 8.3 68.5 23.2 -60.2 38.6 10.4 50.9 28.2
Q2:2020-21 959 39.6 27.9 32.5 11.8 41.0 25.3 33.6 15.7
Q3:2020-21           45.7 12.8 41.6 32.9
‘Better’ Overall Business Situation is optimistic.

Table 23: Business Sentiments
Quarter Business Assessment Index (BAI) Business Expectations Index (BEI)
Q2:2019-20 92.5 112.8
Q3:2019-20 93.0 102.2
Q4:2019-20 102.2 105.0
Q1:2020-21 55.3 108.8
Q2:2020-21 96.2 99.5
Q3:2020-21   111.4

1 The survey results reflect the views of the respondents, which are not necessarily shared by the Reserve Bank of India. This round of the survey was launched on August 7, 2020 and results were compiled with data received till September 23, 2020. The results of the 90th round of the survey (Q1:2020-21) were released on August 6, 2020 on the RBI’s website.

2 For each survey round, two indices are computed – one based on assessment [viz., Business Assessment Index (BAI)] and another based on expectations [viz., Business Expectations Index (BEI)]. Each index is a composite indicator calculated as a simple average of nine business parameters, where each parameter is derived as a weighted net response of companies, weights being the share of industry groups in gross value added (GVA). The nine parameters considered are: (1) overall business situation; (2) production; (3) order books; (4) inventory of raw material; (5) inventory of finished goods; (6) profit margins; (7) employment; (8) exports; and (9) capacity utilisation. BAI/BEI gives a snapshot of the business outlook in every quarter and takes values between 0 and 200, with 100 being the threshold separating expansion from contraction.

3 Net Response (NR) is the difference between the percentage of respondents reporting optimism and those reporting pessimism. It ranges between -100 to 100. Any value greater than zero indicates expansion/optimism and any value less than zero indicates contraction/pessimism. In other words, NR = (I – D), where, I is the percentage response of ‘Increase/optimism’, and D is the percentage response of ‘Decrease/pessimism’ and E is the percentage response as ‘no change/equal’ (i.e., I+D+E=100).  For example, increase in production is optimism whereas decrease in cost of raw material is optimism.


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