New Delhi:Manufacturers in the country have a positive outlook for the sector in the January-March quarter on the back of higher production, a report by industry body FICCI on Sunday said.

“...the percentage of respondents reporting higher production in fourth quarter has increased significantly vis-à-vis previous quarter of 2017-18.

The proportion of respondents reporting higher output growth during the Q4 2017-18 has increased significantly to 55% from 47% in Q3," FICCI said in its latest quarterly survey on manufacturing.

Also, the percentage of respondents reporting low production has come down to 11% in the fourth quarter from 15% in the preceding quarter, it added.

In terms of order books, 51% of the respondents said they are expecting higher number of orders as against 42% in the previous quarter, which is “a sign of revival", the industry body said.

The survey assessed the expectations of manufacturers in 12 major sectors including automotive, capital goods, pharmaceuticals, food products and textiles among others.

Responses have been drawn from over 300 manufacturing units from both large and SME segments with a combined annual turnover of over Rs3 trillion.

The report said high growth is expected in the automotive and capital goods segments in the fourth quarter, while segments like cement and ceramics, leather and footwear, chemicals and pharmaceuticals are expected to see moderate growth.

Low growth is expected in textile machinery and textiles sector in the January-March 2018 quarter, it added. “The cost of production as a percentage of sales for manufacturers in the survey has risen significantly for 62 per cent respondents in Q3 2017-18. This is primarily due to increase in cost of raw materials, increased wages, power cost and higher GST rates on certain products," the report said.

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