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India’s economic activity surges to 14-year high in April: HSBC survey

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Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) India's economic activity surged close to a 14-year high this month on the back of a strong performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, according to an HSBC survey released on Tuesday.

The HSBC composite purchasing managers' index compiled by S&P Global for India, increased to 62.2 in April from the final reading of 61.8 for March. A reading of 50 on the index represents the dividing line between expansion and contraction in the economy.

"Strong performance in both the manufacturing and service sectors, led by increased new orders, resulted in the highest composite output index since June 2010," said Pranjul Bhandari, Chief India economist at HSBC.

The strong expansion was led by services activity with the index rising 61.7 from 61.2 in March due to an acceleration in the growth of new business.

The manufacturing PMI continued with strong growth in March at 59.1 in April with an increase in production as well as new orders for goods.

The increase in production to meet rising demand supported jobs growth, especially in manufacturing with employment increasing at the fastest pace in one-and-a-half years. However, the employment generation in services was a tad slower than in March, according to the survey.

Overall international demand was solid and the composite sub-index rose to its highest level since September 2014, when it was first included in the survey.

Strong sales have also improved the business outlook for the next 12 months.

"Manufacturing margins improved in April as firms were able to pass on higher prices to customers due to strong demand conditions," added Bhandari.



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