India's factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in over eight years in September as a relaxation in coronavirus lockdown restrictions drove a surge in demand and output, a private survey showed on Thursday, though layoffs continued.
Signs of recovery are welcome news for Asia's third-largest economy, which is widely expected to mark its first full-year contraction since 1979 this year. The pandemic is spreading in India at the fastest pace in the world.
The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by IHS Markit, jumped to 56.8 in September from 52.0 in August, above the 50-level separating growth from contraction for a second straight month. It was the highest reading since January 2012.
"The Indian manufacturing industry continued to move in the right direction, with PMI data for September highlighting many positives. Due to loosened COVID-19 restrictions, factories went full steam ahead for production, supported by a surge in new work," noted Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit.
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