Under the tension of Coronavirus ‘Covid -19’, the service sector found it difficult to maintain its rapid boom, however in march the sector dramatically fell and the depletion continues. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is released on a monthly basis by IHS Markets. The index showed a fall from a seven-year high point of 57.5 in February to 49.3 in March. The index’s rise above 50 indicates an increase in activity and decline below 50 indicates a decrease in activity.
The report released today by IHS Markets stated that the decline in new orders – especially orders from abroad – has put pressure on the index. This report has been prepared on the basis of surveys conducted between 12th and 27th March. This includes only two-three days of the complete ‘lockdown’.
Challenges of economic slowdown – test of government’s efficiency
Reacting to the data, IHS Market economist Joe Hedge said, “The full impact of the Covid -19 pandemic on India’s service sector is yet to be revealed. The service sector has experienced accelerated growth in the year 2019 which is now halted due to the steep decline in march. Like other countries of the world, weak statistics will come after complete lockdown. The pressure is now on the government to deal with the economic challenges posed by the lockdown. ”
March saw the biggest fall in orders from abroad since September 2014
In March, the amount of new orders in the service sector fell sharply in two years. It was the biggest drop of orders from abroad since September 2014. Companies have started firing and filtering employees. However, large companies have not fired employees working on payrolls.
Exemption from today
Service sector is imperative part of the country’s economy and has got partial exemption to operate from 20th April.
- Data, IT cells and call centres working for the government will be operational with 50% of workforce
- Construction in real estate and all industrial projects. This step is the need of the hour to solve the crisis of unemployed labour drowned in poverty and hunger to get employment and feed their stomachs.
- Retail, grocery and ration shops
- Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, DTH service providers, motor mechanics
- Some government offices are also operational with limited work force
Number of corona virus patients reached 17,265 in the country, 543 deaths so far
Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in each country. All sectors, economies are on a standstill. In India as well, cases are increasing rapidly. The pace of the increase indicates the need of lockdown 3.0 as on an average 1000 cases are being reported daily.
The number of coronavirus cases has crossed 24lakh worldwide with 6 lakh above recoveries and 1 lakh above deaths. In India the total number of cases have reached 17,265 with 543 deaths. The number of people recovered has reached 2,547. According to the data released by the health ministry, 1324 people have tested positive in the last 24 hours.