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India March Service Sector Growth Slows Sharply

Activity in the Indian service sector expanded at a markedly slower pace in March, data from a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted purchasing manages' index (PMI) for the service sector dropped to 52.3 in March from 56.5 in February. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below suggests decline.

New business received by Indian service providers increased at the weakest pace in four months in March, hurt mainly by rising prices. Backlogs of work rose for a ninth consecutive month. Meanwhile, outstanding business in the service sector remained unchanged during in March.

Employment in the service sector increased marginally in March. Output prices continued to rise solidly. Indian service companies were optimistic in March that activity would rise over the next year.

At the same time, the composite output index, which measures performance of both the manufacturing and service sectors, declined to a four-month low of 53.6 in March from 57.8 in February.

by RTT Staff Writer

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