Japan services activity eased in January while
India's contracted, according to survey data published Wednesday.
The latest survey data from the Japanese
service sector signalled that growth was maintained in January, continuing
the longest sequence of expansion on record. Concurrent expansions in new
business and employment were indicative of broad based growth, though contrasted
with a marginal contraction in outstanding business.
The headline seasonally adjusted
Business Activity Index
posted at a five-month low of 51.2 in January,
down from 52.1 in December. Whilst this reading represented a slower rate of
business activity growth, the index nevertheless remained above the 50.0
no-change threshold for the fifteenth consecutive month in January, continuing
the longest sequence of expansion to date.
Meanwhile, building on the sharp expansions registered in
the final quarter of 2013, manufacturing output expanded at the sharpest pace in
over 12 years of data collection in January. Consequently, the
Composite Output Index
increased fractionally, posting at 54.1 in January and
signalling a solid expansion.
Up from 48.1 in December to 49.6 in January, the
seasonally adjusted HSBC India Composite Output Index indicated a seventh
consecutive monthly drop in private sector activity. That said, the rate of
contraction was marginal and the weakest in that sequence. Whereas manufacturing
production growth accelerated, output at services companies fell again.
The headline HSBC Services Business Activity Index
increased from December’s 46.7 to 48.3 in January, signalling a moderate rate of
output contraction that was the weakest in the current seven-month sequence of
decrease. Panellists cited tough economic conditions, political issues and lower
new order levels as the main reasons behind the fall in output.
Service providers reported falling new business received
for the seventh month running in January, with respondents commenting on
increased competition for new work, deteriorating confidence among clients and
weaker underlying demand. Nonetheless, the rate of contraction was slight and
the slowest in that sequence. Manufacturing new orders rose at the quickest pace
since March 2013. Incoming new work across the Indian private sector as a whole
fell, albeit fractionally.
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