India's Manufacturing at Five-month High

The Purchasing Managers' Index also showed that input and output prices rose sharply in November.

MUMBAI -- India's manufacturing activity rose in November to its fastest pace in five months led by a rise in new orders, a private business survey showed on Monday.

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) from HSBC India Manufacturing, which gives a snapshot of manufacturing health from output to jobs, climbed to 53.7 in November, compared to 52.9 in the previous month.

"The manufacturing sector gained momentum thanks to a strong pick up in new orders, which lifted output growth," said HSBC chief economist Leif Eskesen.

The survey's findings -- based on data from more than 500 manufacturers -- come after India's economic growth eased to 5.3% in the July-September quarter, extending a slowdown since the start of the year.

The survey showed that both input and output prices rose sharply in November.

"Inflation picked up again as higher raw material prices increased input costs for firms," Eskesen said, adding that data suggests the country's Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would continue to abstain from easing its monetary policy.

Indian inflation was at 7.45% in October, still well above the central bank's comfort zone of around five percent.

The RBI has kept its benchmark interest rate on hold since April due to inflationary pressures, disappointing government and business leaders who want a cut to boost the economy.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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