Bar tenders wait for customers inside Sula Vineyards of Nashik Vintners. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg) 

India’s Services Sector Expands At A Slower Pace In September

The country’s services sector expanded at a slower pace in September as higher fuel costs and a stronger U.S. dollar made imported goods expensive, said a survey by IHS Markit.

The seasonally-adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index touched 50.9 in September, down from 51.5 in August. This is also the lowest reading in the current four-month sequence of rising activity. In PMI parlance, a print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction.

Expectations remained in the positive territory, while firms added to their staffing levels for the 13th successive month as part of their efforts to keep on top of workloads, according to the survey report released on Thursday.

The services sector continued to expand during September, but at a marginal rate amid reports of underwhelming market demand, the report said.

Paul Smith, Economics Director at IHS Markit and author of the report, said growth of India’s services economy spluttered during September amid reports of faltering demand for services. “And despite a slight pick-up in manufacturing output growth during the month, overall private sector activity rose at the weakest rate since May.”

Broad sector data showed that underlying growth in activity and new work remained strongest in information and communication sector. In contrast, there were falls seen in the finance and insurance and business services categories.

Although manufacturers recorded a slightly stronger increase in employment, the rise was insufficient to prevent a slowdown in overall jobs growth, the report said.

Also read: India’s Manufacturing Activity Rises In September On New Orders