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India’s services PMI eases to 60.1 in August from 62.3 in July

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New Delhi: India’s services activities continued their growth momentum in August 2023 on the back of record new export business, but the pace moderated marginally compared to the previous month.

According to a S&P Global survey published on Tuesday, India’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) eased to 60.1 in August 2023 from 62.3 in July.

A reading above 50 means expansion, while a reading below it shows contraction.

“India’s service economy continued to thrive in August, with a series-record increase in new export business inducing another sharp expansion in total sales. Growth of the latter waned but remained among the best in 13 years,” the private survey said.

The survey showed service firms indicated the sharpest upturn in new export business since the series started in September 2014. Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and the Middle East were among the sources of sales gains reported by panellists.

The S&P Global India Services PMI is compiled by S&P Global from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 service sector companies. The sectors covered include consumer (excluding retail), transport, information, communication, finance, insurance, real estate, and business services.

Granular survey data showed that finance and insurance again led growth in both total new business and output in August.

Indian service firms managed to secure a healthy number of new customers despite hiking their charges again. August saw the overall rate of output price inflation quicken to the joint-strongest in over six years.

As per the survey, hiring activity across India’s service economy continued to expand halfway through the second fiscal quarter. Survey participants reported a blend of permanent and temporary staff recruitment on both part-time and full-time bases. The rate of job creation was moderate but the strongest seen since last November.

Commenting on the survey findings, Pollyanna De Lima, Economics Associate Director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said that Indian service companies achieved a remarkable milestone in August as they welcomed a record surge in new export business.

“Several regions contributed to the upturn, including Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. This spike in international demand supported one of the best sales performances recorded over the past 13 years and acted as a catalyst for firms to expand their workforces as well as output,” De Lima said.

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