Services activity grows for first time since Feb, PMI hits 54.1 in Oct

activity expanded in October for the first time since February, reflecting growth in demand as the government continued to relax Covid-19 restrictions, a report by IHS Markit said on Wednesday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose sharply from 49.8 in September to 54.1 in October, with new orders to companies registering an increase over the previous month, reversing a trend that began eight months ago. A PMI index of more than 50 represents expansion, while a figure below 50 means a decline in activity from a month ago.

As the services sector, excluding construction, contributes nearly 60 per cent to the gross value added in the economy, revival may gain speed in the October-December quarter (Q3FY21).

“A sharp rise in factory production was accompanied by a return to growth of services activity,” the note said.

“While a revival of the manufacturing industry began in August, the service sector has started to heal now. Service providers signalled solid expansions in new work and business activity during October,” wrote Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit.

The composite index, which includes manufacturing, was

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ED files charge sheet against Kochhars, 9 others in money laundering case

The (ED) has filed a prosecution complaint, also known as charge sheet, against ICICI bank’s former chief executive officer and managing director Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak Virendra Kochhar, and nine others in connection with a involving the private lender and Videocon Group.

The ED charge sheet also named Videocon Group and chairman Venugopal Dhoot. of Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar are part of the chargesheet as well.

This is the first prosecution in the matter after the case was registered in February 2019. The charge sheet was submitted to the Mumbai Sessions Court under the fresh deadline following the arrest of Deepak Kochhar on September 7.

Under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the agency is required to file a charge sheet within 60 days from the date of arrest.

The ED is learnt to have scrutinised five trunks full of documents in the matter. The evidence and findings were submitted to the court on Wednesday. The court is yet to take cognizance of the charge sheet; the matter has been adjourned until November 11.


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Biden At 248 Electoral Votes, Trump At 214: US Media

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are squaring off for what could be a legal battle for the White House, running neck-and-neck in the electoral vote count, and several battleground states still in play on Wednesday.

As it stands, there are six states still left uncalled, including major prizes such as Pennsylvania and Michigan — meaning both Trump and Biden still have a path to victory.

US media outlets have projected wins for the Republican incumbent in 23 states including big prizes Florida and Texas, as well as Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio — all states he won in 2016.

Biden has captured 21 states including his home state Delaware and big prizes California and New York, as well as the US capital. The former vice president has flipped two states won by Trump in 2016 — Arizona and Wisconsin.

Nebraska split its electoral votes between the two — four for Trump and one for Biden. Maine was won by Biden, but he seized only three of the four electoral votes on offer, with the last allocated to Trump.

So far, that gives Biden 248 electoral votes and Trump 214.

The magic number of electoral votes is 270.

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