Navigating Growth and Inflation: A Deep Dive into S&P Global India Services PMI®

November witnessed an extension of increased services activity, with the S&P Global India Services Business Activity Index hitting a one-year low of 56.9. Despite this dip from October's 58.4, the sector demonstrated a sharp increase in output, fuelled by favourable demand trends and new business gains.

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Future Outlook and Confidence:

Businesses maintained a positive outlook for the next 12 months, although confidence somewhat waned due to rising inflation expectations. The dip in the index reflects a cautious optimism tempered by concerns about inflationary pressures.

Sectoral Dynamics:

Within the services sector, Finance & Insurance led the rankings in growth, while Real Estate & Business Services lagged. Despite a widespread slowdown in new orders and output, the overall growth rate remained sharp, signalling a robust third fiscal quarter.

International Demand and Export Orders:

International demand for Indian services improved, but growth lost momentum. The increase in new export orders moderated, marking the slowest pace since June. This global perspective underscores the delicate balance of India's services on the international stage.

Inflationary Pressures and Costs:

Despite an increase in operating expenses, the overall rate of inflation softened to an eight-month low. The Finance & Insurance sector recorded the highest rate of input cost inflation, while the overall charge inflation receded to its weakest in eight months.

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Employment Landscape:

While net employment rose marginally in November, the pace of expansion was the weakest since April. Stable levels of outstanding business among services companies contributed to this cautious approach to recruitment.

Inflation Expectations and Optimism:

Despite receding inflationary pressures, companies signaled rising inflation expectations through qualitative data. Optimism, while still upbeat, faded to a six-month low, reflecting the delicate balancing act between growth prospects and inflation concerns.

Takeaway:The S&P Global India Services PMI® data for November paints a nuanced portrait of India's economic landscape, revealing a resilient services sector navigating growth amid cooling inflationary pressures. Despite a dip in confidence due to rising inflation expectations, the sector's positive outlook, robust output, and international demand showcase its adaptability. The delicate balance between stable employment levels and cautious optimism underscores the need for strategic resilience in the face of evolving market dynamics.

Also Read: Goldman Sachs Revised Its Prediction For India's Current Account Deficit to 1.3% From 1.9% of GDP