Ficci optimistic on India's manufacturing growth

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New Delhi, Aug 3 (UNI) An industry body has projected India's manufacturing growth at 9.5 per cent in the current fiscal notwithstanding most estimates of the country's economic growth sliding to less than nine per cent this year.

Assocham's survey of 350 chief executives said 77 per cent of them believed that economic growth could slide to 7.6 per cent, while National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) projected it to be between 8.5 to 8.9 per cent.

Overall manufacturing growth had declined to 8.8 per cent in the 2007-08 from a high of 12.3 per cent in 2006-07.

The optimistic prognosis made by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is based on survey of 100 sectors of industry surveyed by it. The analysis, it added, is based on responses from 25 basic goods and core sectors, 21 capital goods sectors, 15 intermediate goods, 26 consumer durables, and 13 consumer non-durable sectors.

Barring the black and white television segment which, Ficci said, would continue to decline, clocking a negative growth of 15 per cent, all other manufacturing sectors will register positive growth; varying from modest to high to excellent this year.

It said, of the 100 sectors surveyed, as many as 67 are poised to achieve 'excellent' to 'high' growth rates ranging 10 to 20 per cent or more. Of the 67, 12 are expected to grow by more than 20 per cent and 55 will see a high growth of 10 to 20 per cent. Of the remaining 33 sectors, Ficci said 32 will show moderate growth of up to 10 per cent, while one sector alone is projected to demonstrate a negative growth during 2008-09.

The apex chamber's optimism is based on expected high growth by sectors such as specialty chemicals, earth moving and construction equipment, industrial valves, printing machinery, frost-free refrigerators, microwave ovens and skin care and cosmetics.

Ficci said its projections are based on increased investment by companies leading to substantial capacity addition, increasing mergers and acquisitions helping industry to reap economies of scale, focus on high-end and superior technology products, higher demand for sophisticated lifestyle products, entry of foreign companies in various industry segments and higher export prospects for many sectors.

Accepting that current slowdown in manufacturing might continue for next two-three months, the survey said industry would be able to revive and achieve higher growth during the terminal period of 2008-09 "provided the government takes some pro-active reform measures to redress the genuine grievances of the manufacturing industry".

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