Services Growth Softens in April

India's services sector slackened its pace in April owing to slower growth in new orders, mirroring the weak performance of manufacturing sector. The seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services Business Activity Index dropped to 53.7 in April from 54.3 in March. A reading above 50 on this survey-based index indicates expansion.
The services PMI had experienced a 19-month high of 54.3 in January, which was again achieved in March. Data showed overall softer expansion in private sector activity across the country as the composite PMI Output Index dropped to 52.8 in April from the 37-month high of 54.3 in March.
A similar survey of the manufacturing sector on Monday showed growth had slipped to a four month low of 50.5 in April from 52.4 in March.
The numbers have come at a time when the government is betting big on services trade since the performance of merchandise trade has been dismal over the past year, pulled down by global demand.
The services sector output increased because of growth in sub-sectors such as financial intermediation, post and telecommunication, and transport and storage. New business at services firms expanded for the tenth straight month in April.
The overall PMI data showed softer increases in output among goods producers and service providers alike. The latter saw a slower expansion in new business inflows while order books at manufacturers broadly stagnated.As a result, companies kept workforce numbers unchanged.
Services sector employment and manufacturing payroll numbers were unchanged in April.
The survey said sentiment at services firms weakened slightly, with optimism being modest by historical standards.

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