Saturday, 18 November, 2017

India services activity rises in October on higher demand

India's services activity expands at fastest pace in October on higher demand Service sector growth hits six-month high in 'solid' start to fourth quarter
Mae Harvey | 05 November, 2017, 02:13

Activity in the United Kingdom construction sector unexpectedly grew last month but confidence about future work has dropped to the lowest level in almost five years, according to a respected survey. Firms raised prices at a sharper rate to end-consumers than their costs rose, signaling a pickup in inflation over coming months.

Data from IHS Markit published on Thursday showed that output growth in the sector was largely confined to house building last month, and was capped by lower volumes of civil engineering and commercial activity.

IHS Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for services rose to 55.6 in October, two full points above the previous month's reading and well above expectations of a fall to 53.3. The 50 mark distinguishes growth from contraction.

Economists said this was consistent with fourth-quarter United Kingdom gross domestic product growth improving from the 0.4% rate in the third quarter, though the PMIs do not always match up with official figures and do not include the struggling retail sector.

The services index followed strong showings from both the manufacturing and construction sectors earlier this week.

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Service providers were cautious about future workloads, with business optimism well below its long-run trend and still softer than seen on average in the first half of 2017, the survey showed.

He said: "While an upturn in business activity growth adds some justification to the Bank of England's decision to hike interest rates for the first time in a decade, a deeper dive into the numbers highlights the fragility of the economy and points to downside risks for the outlook".

According to analysts at Trading Economics, the inflation rate in India is expected to be 4 percent by the end of this quarter. For an economy reliant on services, that's an important driver for growth. However, the rate of new order growth remained weaker than recorded at any time from mid-2013 to early a year ago.

"With consumers still under mounting pressure from rising inflation and Brexit uncertainty remaining elevated, we doubt that the economy is about to accelerate yet".

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