India’s manufacturing activity reaches five-month high in November

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New Delhi, India (4E) – India posted the fastest growth with its manufacturing sector in five months in November, spurred by strong rise in new orders and higher purchasing activity, according to an HSBC survey released on Monday.

The HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which offers a snapshot of the overall health of the manufacturing sector in India from output to job creation, jumped to 53.7 in November, higher than 52.9 registered in October.

The index has stayed in a level above the 50-mark for the last three years, below it indicates contraction.

The findings, which is based from a survey of more than 500 manufacturers, come after the Indian government reported an easing in economic growth to 5.3 per cent in the quarter ending September, continuing a trend of slowdown that began at the start of the year.

Prices charged by Indian manufacturers in November were in line with the higher costs of input, according to HSBC. The inflation rate picked up in October, primarily driven by higher input prices as costs of raw materials and diesel increased.

Despite widespread calls for growth-boosting rate cuts, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor D Subbarao has kept rates steady citing inflationary risks. The RBI is expected to make an announcement on its mid-quarter monetary policy review on Dec. 18.

The RBI’s decision to keep its its benchmark interest unchanged since April has disappointed many leaders both in the public and private sectors who are supporting a rate cut to spur the economy.

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