India's service sector growth nearly stalls in April, prices rise

Growth in India's dominant services industry came close to stalling in April as new orders slowed to a trickle, forcing companies to spend more on aggressive advertising campaigns as they fought for business, a private survey showed on Thursday. The Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index slumped to a three-month low of 50.2 in April from March's 51.5, only slightly above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction. 

The new business sub-index, an indicator of both domestic and foreign demand, sank to 50.4 in April from March's 52.2, possibly also because companies raised prices at a faster pace. A sister survey on Tuesday showed that although factory growth expanded in April at a steady pace, rises in output and employment slowed, suggesting the economy has not yet fully recovered from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ban on high-value bank notes late last year.

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