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India's manufacturing PMI surges to 53.9 in January

After showing slow growth in the previous month, the Indian manufacturing sector surged in the month of January, with the quickest increase in order books. As per the survey report, the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance - rose to 53.9 in January from 53.2 in December. The manufacturing sector activity expanded for the 18th consecutive month as the PMI reading stood above the watershed 50 mark, which differentiates growth from contraction.

According to the report, sales growth picked up in January, on the back of successful advertising campaigns, favourable economic conditions and strengthening demand. Intermediate goods makers noted the strongest increases in both new work and production compared to their consumer and investment goods counterparts. Employment also continued to expand in January for the tenth straight month, as firms adjusted capacities due to marked growth of new work.

On the inflation front, firms paid higher prices for paper, textiles, steel and synthetic rubber, while lower charges paid for aluminium, copper, oil and plastic. Subsequently, overall cost burdens rose only modestly and at a rate that was muted by historical standards. Similarly, a slight increase in factory gate charges was registered. Meanwhile, the level of business sentiment in India's manufacturing industry improved to a five-month high in January.

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