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Financial News: India Services Sector Shrinks For Second Month

India Services Sector Shrinks For Second Month

11/05/2019 - 07:29:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - India's services sector activity deteriorated for a second straight month in October, but at a slower pace, amid subdued demand conditions, competitive pressures and a fragile economic situation survey results from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to 49.2 in October from 48.7 in September. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. This was the first back-to-back reduction since the second quarter of fiscal year 2017/18, IHS Markit said.

Total sales remained unchanged in October, after contracting in the previous month. Export demand grew at the weakest pace in four months.

Employment level increased for the twenty-sixth straight month in October, albeit at the slowest pace over this period and the backlogs of work rose marginally.

Business confidence was among the weakest seen in the near 14-year survey history, as several businesses fear that challenging economic conditions will persist.

Input price inflation surged to the highest level in one-year in October, and average prices charged rose modestly.

The composite output index fell to 49.6 in October from 49.8 in the previous month. The Indian private sector contracted for a second straight month, reflecting the significant slowdown in the growth of factory output and a further contraction in services activity.

"It's somewhat worrying to see the Indian service sector stuck in contraction, as firms react to muted demand by lowering business activity," Pollyanna de Lima, principal economist at IHS Markit, said.

"Perhaps even more concerning was the downward revision to future expectations, given the possible detrimental impact of subdued business confidence on investment and jobs."

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