India factory output boosted by festive season demand

A Ford plant in Chengalpattu near Chennai in India A slowdown in global and domestic demand has hurt India's manufacturing sector

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India's industrial output rose more than expected in October, boosted by increased demand during the festive season in the country.

Factory output rose 8.2% from a year earlier. Most analysts had forecast a rise of 4.5%.

Manufacturing activity, which accounts for almost two-thirds of overall output, rose 9.6% from a year earlier.

Analysts said the data was also helped by a low base and did not indicate a recovery in India's economy.

Industrial production had dipped 5.1% during the same month last year.

"It's a positive surprise, but bear in mind the jump is distorted by last year's low base, and this is going to reverse in November," said Rajeev Malik, a senior economist with CLSA.

Mr Malik explained that the festival of Diwali, which is traditionally associated with a surge in consumer demand in India, was celebrated in October last year and in November this year.

Factories mostly manufacture and ship their goods ahead of the festival, and as a result, there had been a fluctuation in demand during the respective months.

"The real, credible assessment will be possible only after the November data," Mr Malik said.

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