Nikkei’s Purchase Managers Index (PMI) published by IHS Markit dropped to 50.3 in October from 51.2 in September 2017. The report said that the downward movement in the headline index was partly driven by a stagnation in new business. Panellists linked subdued demand conditions to negative impacts of GST. Meanwhile, new export orders for Indian goods reduced in October. Moreover, the rate of contraction was the fastest since September 2013.The report further said that overseas demand for Indian goods dipped to the greatest extent since September 2013. “On the bright side, the labour market continued to improve, with manufacturers further increasing their staffing levels, and at a pace similar to September’s 59-month high. Business confidence eased to the weakest since February as some firms expressed concerns over negative GST effects. However, those manufacturers that were optimistic forecasted benefits of GST materialising over the next 12 months,” Dodhia said. The report highlighted that India’s manufacturing sector growth lost momentum in October as output rose only fractionally and new orders stagnated. Encouragingly, firms added to their payroll numbers at a similar pace to September’s 59-month high in response to greater volumes of outstanding business, it said.