India’s textile machinery sector has a moderate production outlook but export prospects look bleak for 2016, according to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) latest quarterly survey of the Indian manufacturing sector. No investments for expansion are expected till the first half of the year while hiring has a bleak outlook, the survey found.

Most of the respondents in textile machinery sector reported an improvement in output during October-December quarter in 2015 vis-a-vis the same quarter in 2014, though not high levels of growth.

However, almost all the respondents reported a fall of in their exports for October – December 2015 quarter as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014.

According to the survey, the current capacity utilization in the sector is about 60 per cent which is same as that of last year for most of the respondents. Respondents from textile machinery industry do not have plans to add capacity in next six months.

Respondents in this sector have reported that they have no plans to hire new workforce in next three months. The average reported cost of credit for the sector hovers around a relatively high 13.9 per cent.

Most of the respondents in the sector believe that growth rate of manufacturing sector is going to remain at the same level for next few months. Respondents from the textile machinery sector have suggested correction in the various levies, correction of cost of labour and power and some support package to revive manufacturing sector’s growth.

Some of the major challenges for the textile machinery sector are increased competition from imports, lack of export demand and lack of skilled labour.