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India's Service Sector PMI Dips To Three-Month Low In April Due To Covid Crisis

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India's services sector index dropped to its lowest level in three months, though it stayed in the expansion zone and above the long-run average. The Indian service sector held up well in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, with a solid increase in new work supporting production growth. Nonetheless, panel member studies indicated that the pandemic slowed business activity and that optimism about future development waned.

 

The seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index fell from 54.6 in March to 54.0 in April, indicating the slowest growth in production in three months.

India's Service Sector PMI Dips To Three-Month Low In April

Anecdotal evidence suggested that continued growth of new work fueled the increase in productivity, which was stymied by the COVID-19 crisis's intensification. The rate of growth in new business was the same as in March.

While Indian services firms were upbeat about the 12-month outlook for business activity, overall optimism dropped to its lowest level since October. The biggest source of scepticism was the pandemic's escalation.

Companies reported a sharp rise in expenses in April, which they linked to higher prices for food, freight, fuel, and a wide range of other items. The overall rate of input cost inflation was the strongest seen in close to nine-and-a-half years.

 

In April, businesses announced a significant increase in expenses, which they attributed to higher prices for food, freight, fuel, and a variety of other goods. The overall rate of inflation in production costs was the highest in nearly nine and a half years.

Despite the fact that private sector investment in India continued to rise at a rapid pace in April, growth slowed to its slowest pace in 2021 so far. Due to slower rises at goods producers and service providers, the Composite* PMI Production Index dropped from 56.0 in March to 55.4 in April. The escalation of the COVID-19 crisis slowed the recovery in general.

Employment details

In terms of jobs, there was a further drop in the overall service sector. In April, payroll numbers dropped for the fifth month in a row, though at the slowest rate since January. Despite evidence of adequate ability to handle current workloads, the overwhelming majority of panelists held their headcounts unchanged.

In April, private sector jobs dropped for the fourteenth month in a row, but the rate of decline was the slowest since January. In the manufacturing and service industries, the pace of reduction was slower.

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