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India Service Sector Contracts In May

India's service sector contracted sharply in May as economic effects of the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic impaired business operations, restricted consumer footfall and collapse in demand, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 12.6 in May from 5.4 in April. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

Output declined sharply due to extended business shutdowns and weak demand condition. New work intakes decreased in May and sales dropped due to the measures imposed to control the spread of Covid-19.

New business collapsed in May with companies reporting foreign demand falling compared to April.

Employment reduced in May with the rate of job shedding remaining strong by historic comparison.

Business sentiment deteriorated in May and output expectation for the next 12 months slumped to the most negative since the record began in December 2005.

Price data showed deflationary trends across both input and output costs. Output prices declined at a softer rate.

The composite index rose to 14.8 in May from 7.2 in the previous month.

"With economic output set to fall enormously in the first half of 2020, it is clear that the recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels of GDP is going to be very slow," Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, said.

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