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Services sector contracts for 4th month

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SummaryThe countryís economic growth slowed to 5 per cent during the last financial year.

Indiaís services sector activity witnessed a moderate improvement in October from Septemberís four-and-a-half year low of 44.6, even while indicating a fourth successive monthly contraction amid economic uncertainty, a HSBC survey said today.

The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers Index for the services industry inched up to 47.1 in October from 44.6 in September.

An index value of below 50 indicates contraction. Business activity fell in five of the six categories monitored by the survey, with

the sharpest decline noted at hotels and restaurants, HSBC said.

ďThe continued contraction in service sector activity is testament to the dampening effects of the heightened macroeconomic uncertainty, which is making businesses and consumers more cautious about spending,Ē HSBC chief economist for India and ASEAN Leif Eskesen said.

The countryís economic growth slowed to 5 per cent during the last financial year that ended on March 31, from an average of 8 per cent over the past decade.

Earlier this week the HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI showed that Indiaís manufacturing sector activity contracted for the third straight month in October and stood at 49.6, unchanged since September, indicating a third, albeit marginal, successive deterioration of business conditions.

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