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Services sector propels India’s economic activity

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Mumbai: Services sector expansion propelled the overall economic activity in India during October, a key macro data showed on Wednesday.

The Nikkei India composite PMI (purchasing managers’ index) which is a key macro data that indicates monthly trends in overall economic activity showed a rise of 52.6 in October from 51.5 in September.

An index reading of above 50 indicates an overall increase in the economic activity, below 50 an overall decrease.

The composite PMI weighs the average of the manufacturing output index and the services business activity index. It is based on original survey data collected from around 700 companies spread across sectors in India.

According to the composite PMI report published by the leading global diversified provider of financial information services — “Markit”, the October expansion trend was the joint-fastest since March.

The survey said the latest improvement was driven by services, as goods producers saw growth of production wane.

“India’s economic growth shifted into a higher gear in October, driven by the service sector. Although manufacturing production continued to expand, growth eased and was sluggish by historical standards,” said Pollyanna De Lima, economist with Markit.

On a standalone basis, the Nikkei India manufacturing PMI recorded a 22-month low in October at 50.7, down from 51.2 in September and from 52.3 in August.

The Nikkei services business activity index for India for October stood at 53.2 from September’s 51.3.

The services index noted growth in three out of the six surveyed categories, led by post and telecommunication.

The survey also revealed a quicker increase in new business inflows since February.

“The upward trend in private sector output reflected stronger inflows of incoming new work, one that was the most marked since March,” De Lima said.

“Services companies saw a faster rise in new business than their manufacturing counterparts, with data implying that price discounts supported growth of new projects.”

The services PMI disclosed that the demand conditions also improved in October.

On the input prices, the survey pointed-out a slight rise in petrol and food costs for the services sector. The purchase prices for manufacturers rose for the first time in three months.

Notwithstanding the rise in input costs, service sector employment levels was remained unchanged with approximately 98 percent of survey members reported no change in payroll numbers since the preceding month.

However, goods producers signalled higher staffing numbers, but the rate of job creation was only marginal.

The report cited that the services companies lowered their selling prices for the second successive month in October to improve competitiveness.

The reduction in selling prices at services firms offset higher charges at goods producers, the study said.

“Private sector firms remained wary of costs and left payroll numbers, once again, unchanged. Average input prices rose in both the service and manufacturing sectors, although at rates that were relatively weak,” De Lima added.

The survey added that the services business sentiment regarding the 12-
month outlook for activity remained positive in October, which was the strongest since July.

The strongest levels of confidence were seen in the ‘other services’ and ‘hotels & restaurants’ categories.

 

(IANS)

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Protecting The World, The Hindu Way

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The rich must live more simply so the poor may simply live.”

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Climate change, california, economic
Climate Change Fuels California Fires. Flickr

By Vijai Singhal

Īśāvāsyam idaṁsarvaṁyatkiñcajagatyāṁjagat;

Tena tyaktenabhuñjīthā,

mā gdha kasya svid dhanam.

 – (Isa Upanishad, Verse 1)

“Everything animate or inanimate in this universe is pervaded by God. Take whatever you need for your sustenance without the sense of ownership. Do not covet the wealth of anyone.”

Consumerism is the basic cause of climate change. Our economic model is demand based. We are constantly pushed to buy more as we have a system of planned obsolescence which results in excesswaste. We can see in our Hindu literature that the emphasis is on need and not on demand. Mahatma Gandhi said: “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”Greed is the root cause of all our problems – environmental or economic.

Hurricane, climate change, disasters, U.S., economic
Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston, Texas, VOA

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a common measure of economic growth. However, GDP fails to account fully for the ecological damage that growth causes. By prioritizing economic growth, societies based on capitalism permit excessive consumption and with it comes excess waste. In 2012, the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan adopted the Gross National Happiness Index as their main development indicator.  This index measured‘Well-being and Happiness’ as a new economic paradigm. The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network which contains rankings of national happiness and analysis of the data from various perspectives, publishes an annual World Happiness Report.

In their report, Finland ranks 1st, Australia ranks 10th, whereas India ranks 133rd. New Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world. The Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi had launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) on 2nd Oct 2014, with the aim to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India. The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of nearly 73 million household and community toilets since the launch of the plan. The Indian government is also pushing the use of renewable energy, particularly solar energy.

Hurricane, climate change, disasters, U.S., economic
Traffic moves as smoke emits from the chimney of a factory on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. VOA

Indian government is actively pushing the use of renewable energy. The International Solar Alliance, an alliance of over 121 countries with an aim to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and to promote use of solar energy was launched by the Indian Prime Minister Mr Modi at the India Africa Summit, ahead of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. India has built the World’s largest solar farm of 2GW capacity in Karnataka State and the Energy Minister, Mr PiyushGoel has declared that there will be no new coal-fired power stations planned in India beyond 2018. In Australia also the rooftop solar installations is edging to 2 million households mark but unfortunately the Australian government is dragging its feet in support of the coal-fired power stations.

There is a proposal that has been put forward to the United Nations for declaring 2018 InternationalYear of Clean and Healthy Planet aiming to mobilize millions of people worldwide in a single day event to clean up illegal waste on World Clean-up Day on 8th of September, 2018.  Last year, ABC TV produced a three-part series – War on Waste, highlighting the amount of waste we are producing in Australia. We are wasting a massive 40% of food items. With persuasion by the program producer and public reaction to waste, both Woolworths and Coles have declared that they would be cutting down on the use of throw away plastic and reducing the food wastage. This is a positive development.

Australia, Meat free,Hurricane, climate change, economic
Tire tracks left by a truck can be seen in a drought-stricken paddock on Kahmoo Station property, located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

Healthy living and a healthy planet go hand-in-hand. Choosing a plant-based diet is the single most important thing one can do for the environment and for our own health. There is a strong push for using vegan or plant-based diet in countries like Australia, United Kingdom and the USA, where meat consumption has traditionally been very high. Australia has become the third fastest growing vegan market in the world witha recent survey showing there are 2.1 million vegan/ nearly vegetarian people in Australia. This is another positive development for the health of our planet.

Also Read: Climate Change To Get Worse In The Future: Study

The world’s poor people are the worst sufferers of the environmental pollution. As responsible members of the society it is our duty to live a simple and ecologically sustainable life style. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The rich must live more simply so the poor may simply live.” (Hindu Council Of Australia)