New Delhi : April 05, 2021 India’s factory activity grew at its weakest pace in seven months in March as renewed lockdowns to curtail a resurgence in COVID-19 cases dampened domestic demand and output, a private survey showed, forcing firms to cut headcount again. Last week, the government advised states to try and control the rapid spread of the virus. Tighter restrictions on activity suggest factories could be in for a tough April. The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, declined to a seven-month low of 55.4 last month from February’s 57.5, but remained above the 50-level separating growth from contraction for an eighth straight month. Despite foreign orders growing at a faster pace in March, a sub-index tracking overall demand declined to its lowest since August 2020. Output also grew at its weakest pace in seven months.