Mfg activity expands at fastest pace in 5 yrs in Dec

Mfg activity expands at fastest pace in 5 yrs in Dec

The Indian services sector returned to marginal growth in December as new orders broadly stabilised, says a monthly survey. "This was consistent with the strongest improvement in the health of the sector since December 2012". Buoyed by increase in output and new orders, Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index showed a steady growth.

Inflation decelerated at the slowest pace in nearly three years due to lower interest rates and employment costs, a competitive framework in which 'service providers may have to resort to heavy discounts to stimulate demand, ' said the Markit economist, Pollyanna De Lima.

The composite output index rose to 58.1 in December from 57.5 in November, final data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

Acting as a backdrop, Caixin's Chinese services PMI shot up from a reading of 51.6 in November to 53.0 for December.

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At the same time, consumer credit continued to expand at a fairly strong £1.4bn on the month.

"The eurozone manufacturing boom gained further momentum in December, rounding off the best year on record and setting the scene for a strong start to 2018", said chief business economist at IHS Markit, Chris Williamson. Panellists linked rises to higher raw material prices, which partly stemmed from supplier delays.

Business confidence remained robust in December, with manufacturers reporting the second-highest level of optimism since January 2016. Volkswagen AG's main passenger-car brand said last Friday that production reached a record high a year ago with global output of more than 6 million vehicles, while Philippe Buros, Renault SA head of sales for France, told BFM Business radio Tuesday that French orders are up too.

Those companies included in the report were broadly positive about the outlook for the year ahead with business sentiment rising to a three-month high. Indicators of backlogs of work and input buying likewise suggest production will continue to grow at a solid pace as we move into 2018.

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