RBI launches latest round of quarterly survey of manufacturing sector

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday launched the latest round of its quarterly Order Books, Inventories and Capacity Utilisation Survey (OBICUS) of the manufacturing sector which will provide valuable inputs for monetary policy formulation. “The survey (Round 51) is for the reference period July-September 2020 (Q2:2020-21),” the central bank said in a statement.

The RBI has been conducting the OBICUS of the manufacturing sector on a quarterly basis since 2008.

The information collected in the survey includes quantitative data on new orders received during the reference quarter, backlog of orders at the beginning of the quarter, pending orders at the end of the quarter, and total inventories with a breakup between work-in-progress and finished goods inventories.

“The level of capacity utilisation is estimated from these responses. The survey provides valuable input for monetary policy formulation,” the RBI said.

Selected manufacturing companies will be approached by the central bank.

RBI said company level data are treated as confidential and never disclosed.

As per the previous OBICUS (April-June quarter), at the aggregate level, capacity utilisation fell sharply from 69.9 per cent in Q4 2019-20 to 47.3 per cent in Q1 2020-21, as domestic economic activity was impacted severely by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Seasonally adjusted capacity utilisation also declined to 48.2 per cent in Q1 2020-21 from 68.2 per cent in the previous quarter.

The survey, which covered 462 companies, also revealed that manufacturing companies received considerably lower orders during the first quarter of 2020-21 compared to that in the previous quarter as well as the year-ago period.

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