With a massive 62% decline from the year-ago level, the BCI stood at 46.4 points for the quarter, a release said on Friday. On a quarterly basis, the index fell 40.1% over the last quarter of FY20, which in turn saw a 30.4% decline from the previous quarter.
The think tank’s Business Expectation Survey (BES), of which the BCI formed a part of, found substantial regional variations in business sentiment. While the BCI for North India increased by 25.1% over the quarter, it fell by 89.3% and 68.1% for East and West India respectively.
The figure was 53.9% for South India in July, however, owing to difficulties in data collection during March and April, this was not a representative sample for the quarter, NCAER said.
The survey also found dismal trends in employment across categories. While firms reported a 6.7% decline in employment of unskilled labour over Q4 of FY20, the figure jumped to 46% during Q1 of the ongoing fiscal.
Although to a lesser extent, the figure for skilled labour stood at 18.2% for the June quarter of FY21 compared to 4.3% in the previous quarter.
Suggesting that labour markets would be similarly subdued in the future, 77% of firms expected no change in managerial or skilled labour employment over the next six months.
The corresponding figure for unskilled labour stood at 58%. The quarterly BES surveys 600 companies from six cities including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai.