New Delhi: Indian firms are slightly less confident on hiring during October-December than they were for the previous quarter, with the greatest decline seen in services, finance and real estate, which make up over half the economy, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The poll of 4,950 Indian firms by global staffing-services firm Manpower Inc showed the net employment outlook in India for Oct-Dec fell to a seasonally adjusted 43% from 45% in the prior quarter.
The index measures the difference between employers who plan to add jobs and those who expect to cut them, and India topped the 33 countries surveyed by Manpower despite the marginal fall from the previous quarter.
“Some industry sectors seem to be experiencing the first signs of a global slowdown,” Naresh Malhan, managing director of Manpower India, said in a statement.
“The picture is mixed, with employers from some sectors expressing considerably more optimism than others.”
India’s services-heavy economy grew the slowest in 3 years in the June quarter, weighed down by seven-year high interest rates and record oil prices.
The central bank expects growth in the year to March 2009 to moderate to 8% from 9% a year ago, while government panels and economists have said the decline could be sharper.
Growth in the services sector, which accounts for more than half of India’s output, slowed to 10% in the June quarter from 11.2% a year ago. Financial, insurance and real estate services growth declined to 9.3% from 12.6%.
Manpower’s survey showed that among financial, insurance and real estate firms, the hiring index stood at 33%, 23 percentage points below the prior quarter. For services firms, it came in 11 percentage points weaker at 47%.
But more manufacturers are optimistic on hiring, with the sector index up 14 percentage points to 44% for the quarter, according to the survey.
Miners and construction firms said they expected more employees joining, with a net of 54% looking to hire, 9 percentage points over the prior quarter.