India Services Activity Expanded In August

India's service sector expanded for the first time in four months in August, beating expectations for further contraction, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Friday.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 56.7 in August from 45.4 in July. Economists had forecast the index to rise to only 48.5.

A reading below 50.0 indicates contraction in the sector.

New orders increased in August, while new export orders declined further.

Output was expected to improve over the next 12 months, with the level of positive sentiment increasing to the highest in five months.

The rate of job shedding was the weakest since January and outstanding business declined in August.

Input costs rose at the fastest rate in four months and output charges increased. The rate of inflation eased to the weakest since March.

The overall private sector economy expanded for the first time in four months. The composite output index rose to 55.4 in August from 49.2 in the previous month.

"The Indian service sector bounced back in August, led by the reopening of several establishments and improved client confidence due to growing vaccine coverage," Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said.

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