India September factory growth picks up pace on strong demand and exports

The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, rose to 52.2 in September from 51.7 in August.

Indian factory activity expanded more quickly in September on strong domestic and export order growth, a business survey showed, a welcome sign of strength as policy makers worry about a sharp drop in the rupee and fallout from global trade frictions.

Taken together with evidence of higher inflation pressures from a weak currency and rising oil prices, the survey results may bolster already-firming expectations for an interest rate hike this week from the Reserve Bank of India.

The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, rose to 52.2 in September from 51.7 in August.

 While the latest PMI was slightly below a Reuters poll median of 52.4, it has held above the 50 threshold that separates growth from contraction for 14 straight months.

The new orders sub-index, a proxy for overall demand, rose to 53.0 from 52.5. And the export orders index rose to the highest in eight months.

“Growth of India’s manufacturing sector picked up during the latest survey period, reflective of strengthening demand especially from foreign clients, which helped to drive export growth up to its highest level since the turn of the year,” Paul Smith, economics director at IHS Markit, said in a release accompanying the survey.

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