India Manufacturing Growth Quickens to Six-Month High, PMI Shows

Indian manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in six months in December, a private survey showed, after the government overhauled policies to revive Asia’s third-largest economy.

The purchasing managers’ index rose to 54.7 from 53.7 in November, HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics said in a statement today. A number above 50 indicates growth.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government has stepped up efforts since September to lure more foreign investment, pare a budget deficit and spur exports. The central bank has signaled it may ease monetary policy in coming months as inflation cools, to boost an economy that the Finance Ministry predicts will expand at the weakest pace in a decade this fiscal year.

“We are seeing green shoots of recovery,” Brinda Jagirdar, an economist at State Bank of India in Mumbai, said before the release. “There is a turnaround, but it is not strong since it is coming after a severe and widespread slowdown.”

The rupee strengthened 0.4 percent to 54.475 per dollar as of 10:33 a.m. in Mumbai. The BSE India Sensitive Index of stocks climbed 0.6 percent, while the yield on the 8.15 percent bonds due June 2022 was little changed at 7.99 percent.

The Reserve Bank of India has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 8 percent since a 50 basis-point cut in April last year. The Finance Ministry forecasts a 5.7 percent to 5.9 percent climb in gross domestic product in the 12 months ending March 2013.

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