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India Services Sector Growth Rises In January

India's service sector expansion accelerated slightly in January, survey results from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.

The IHS Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.8 in January from 52.3 in December.

Economists had forecast a score of 53.0. Any reading above 50.0 indicates expansion in the sector.

New business grew in January as some establishments were reopened and demand strengthened.

New export work declined further due to travel restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Input costs increased for the seventh month in a row, but at a slower pace.

Firms were more positive on the outlook for the 12-months due to hopes that the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out would boost the demand growth amid an improvement in the economy. The business optimism rose to the highest in eleven months.

Outstanding business rose for the eighth straight month in January, albeit at the slowest rate since mid-2020.

Employment declined in January, though the pace of job shedding remained unchanged.

The survey showed that the composite output index, which combines services and manufacturing output, rose to 55.8 in January from 54.9 in December.

"When we combine the results for the service sector with those for manufacturing, the picture for the Indian economy looks brighter," IHS Economics Associate Director Pollyanna De Lima said.

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