An employee wears a headset while working at the Avise Techno Solutions LLP call center in Kolkata. (Photograph: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg)

India Services Growth Rebounds As Jobs Rise At Fastest Pace In Almost 7 Years

India's services activity stabilised in March after contracting in the previous month aided by improving business sentiment rose as firms raised their staffing levels at the fastest pace since June 2011.

The Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.3 in March from 47.8 in February, according to a statement by research firm Markit. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below it signals contraction.

The survey said enhanced marketing initiatives and, in some instances, discounts were reported to have underpinned new clients wins.

In response to efforts undertaken by the Indian government to formalise the economy, more people are gravitating towards employment as signalled by the latest PMI data.” 
Aashna Dodhia, Economist At IHS Markit

While the new business rose across the manufacturing sector for the fifth consecutive month during March, the rate of expansion moderated to the slowest in the current sequence. This in part reflecting the weakest gain in new export orders since November, the survey said.

The composite business activity index also rebounded in March, aided by the growth in both the manufacturing and service sectors. The Nikkei Composite Output Index rose to 50.8 in March from 49.7 in February, the statement added.

On the price front, despite softening from February’s recent peak, input cost inflation in the service sector was marked overall.  
Aashna Dodhia, Economist At IHS Markit