India Industrial Production Expanded 14.4% in November, Fastest Pace in 11 Years

India's industrial production rose 14.4% in November, the fastest pace in 11 years, compared to 4.4% growth in October, according to the Central Statistical Organisation, reports Bloomberg. Analysts expected an 11.3% increase in November.  Rising consumer spending may prompt the central bank to raise its 6% benchmark interest rate. 

Industrial production in China also rose 14.9% in November.  India's economy will grow 10% this year from 9.5 percent in 2006, overtaking China as the world's fastest-growing major economy, according to Credit Suisse's forecast last month. It expects China to grow 9.9% in 2007.

Other India Highlights:

Manufacturing growth increased to 15.7% in November from a year earlier, the fastest since June 1996; Mining output grew 7%, more than the prior month's 5.2%; Electricity production accelerated to 8.7% after a 9.7% gain in October.

Industrial production, a quarter of India's $775 billion economy, expanded 10.6% in the eight months ended November, faster than the 8.3% pace in the same period last year. 

India's benchmark Sensitive Index surged 50% in the past year, and rose 3.1% yesterday to a record 14,056.53. 

India's key wholesale price inflation rate accelerated to 5.58% in the last week of December, crossing the higher end of the central bank's year-end forecast of 5% to 5.5%.

Demand for loans is rising as India tops a global consumer confidence index of 40 countries for the third year in a row in 2006, according to AC Nielsen Co., a New York-based market research firm.  Bank loans are growing at 29%, after expanding an average of more than 35% in each of the previous two financial years, according to central bank data.

Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance Communications Ltd. and other Indian mobile-phone operators added a record 6.79 million mobile users in November, according to the telecommunication regulator.

India had the highest average salary increase in the Asia- Pacific region in 2006, gaining 13.8% compared with 14.1% in 2005, according to human-resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates Inc. Salaries in India may rise by as much as 15% next year.

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