India services PMI rises to one-year high in January: HSBC Markit

Services sector

The bank also lowered country's GDP forecast to 5.5 per cent in 2012-13 as against 5.8 per cent estimated earlier.

Earlier, an HSBC survey had shown that the growth of country's manufacturing sector slowed to a three month low in January, primarily due to moderation in new orders and power outages during the month.

Accordingly, the HSBC India Composite Output Index - which maps both the manufacturing and services index stood at 56.3 in January, unchanged from December's reading.

Services PMI rose to 12-month high in Jan: HSBC

(Reuters) Activity in India's service sector expanded at the fastest pace in a year last month, driven by rising foreign orders, but businesses were a little less optimistic about the future, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The HSBC Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index, which gauges business activity from a survey of over 400 companies ranging from banks to hospitals, jumped to 57.5 in January from 55.6.

The services PMI has held above 50, the level that divides growth and contraction, for over a year, even though India appears set to finish the 2012/13 fiscal year with its slowest economic growth rate in a decade.

Services make up over 60 percent of Asia's third-largest economy. Some of India's top services exports are software, back-office support and banking services. "Service sector activity continued to pick up pace led by a faster inflow of new business," said Leif Eskesen, HSBC's chief economist for India and Southeast Asia, in a release.

The new business sub-index jumped to 58.3, the highest since August 2011, prompting firms to step up the pace of hiring, although not at a very strong rate. Although companies were optimistic about the future, the business expectations index fell slightly from December.

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