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India’s Mfg sector output at nearly 2-year peak in Nov


New Delhi, Dec 1 (PTI) India’s manufacturing sector output accelerated in November at the quickest pace in nearly two years, driven by robust output and new orders, an HSBC survey said today.

The headline HSBC India Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a composite gauge designed to give a single-figure snapshot of manufacturing business conditions — stood at 53.3 in November significantly higher from 51.6 in October.

The manufacturing sector output, improved for the 13th month in a row and reached a 21-month peak in November.

A figure above 50 indicates the sector is expanding, while a figure below that level means contraction.

“Manufacturing activity accelerated further in November led by higher output and new orders. Domestic orders saw the biggest increase, even as new export orders continued to be strong,” HSBC Co-Head of Asian Economic Research Frederic Neumann said.

November data indicated stronger-than-expected demand, as new order growth accelerated to the quickest in 21 months. Similarly, foreign orders received by Indian goods producers continued to rise strongly in November.

In spite of accelerated expansions in output and new business, employment in the manufacturing sector remained broadly unchanged in November, the report said.

“The sharp rise in input prices was surprising, but future prints may be lower as falling commodity prices eventually lead to softer intermediate good prices. Meanwhile, the pick-up in output prices could partly be signalling some revival in pricing power among businesses,” Neumann said.

A cautionary note was, however, provided by the HSBC survey regarding input costs and output charges, as inflationary pressures intensified during the month following three consecutive months of easing.

“Higher output and an uptick in final prices should convince the RBI to stay on hold in the upcoming meeting,” Neumann said.

The RBI, which has maintained the interest at elevated level for the past 10 months, is scheduled to announce it policy review tomorrow.

According to official figure, wholesale inflation came down to a five-year low at 1.77 per cent in October while retail inflation hit a record low of 5.52 per cent in the same month.

Meanwhile, the country’s economic growth fell to 5.3 per cent in the second quarter from 5.7 per cent rate in the first three-month period ended June, raising the clamour for rate cut by the RBI tomorrow.

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