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The Sales Managers Index: India

Released: November 22, 2016

November Survey Data Strongly Suggests Indian GDP
Growth Has Reached Prime Minister Modi's 8% Target


  • Composite Sales Managers’ Index at highest level in 5 years
  • Business Confidence, Sales Growth , and Jobs indexes all at all time survey highs
  • Out of date official data failing to reflect success of economic policies

The Indian economy continued to expand rapidly in November with a Headline Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) of 72.6, up from 71.3 in October. The SMI has now hit the highest level in five years reflecting the great success of current economic policies in India. Business Confidence maintained its ultra-high level in November on the back of rising sales and market growth. The Market Growth Index reflects very rapid economic growth almost certainly now at Prime Ministers Modi’s target of 8% Annual GDP Growth. The Staffing Levels Index also reflects a tremendously buoyant economy with new jobs being generated in increasing numbers every month.

With such strong business confidence, rapid levels of growth and strong jobs’ data, coupled with low price inflation there appear to be few constraints emerging to hinder higher future growth in 2017.

These figures suggest a more buoyant economy than recent official data suggests. There are several reasons for believing that SMI data provides a more realistic view of the true state of Indian economic activity in November 2016.

First, the Global Data Quality Index ranks India’s official GDP data in only 50th place in the world. The reasons for this lowly rank are that India has an out-of-data (2011/12) base year for data (despite a recent change) and numerous other problems.

In addition data is produced slowly and revised even more slowly (several years can pass before a ‘final’ estimate of GDP is arrived at for any particular period of time), and there is a lack of increasingly important service sector data in many areas of economic activity.

World Economics concludes that survey data such as the SMI is very likely to be more realistic than official data at reflecting the speed and direction of economic activity. In addition to the SMI data, other survey data provides evidence of rapid growth in India. For example the October composite Nikkei Manufacturing and Services Index suggests a growing level of economic activity. And the large scale Nielsen and Ipsos Consumer Sentiment surveys (see Indian Growth Tracker) both show high levels of consumer confidence.



Headline Sales Managers' Index



Prices Charged Index
Business Confidence Index



Staffing Levels Index








About India SMI Data



The Sales Managers Index provide the earliest monthly data on the speed and direction of Indian economic activity.

Key advantages of the India SMI:
  • The SMI provides the first indication each month of the speed and direction of economic growth in India.
  • The SMI provides the most complete indication of growth, covering all private sector activity.
  • The SMI is based on a key occupational group - uniquely able to sense changes in business activity levels.
  • The SMI is composite index of business confidence, market growth, sales, prices charged and staffing levels.
  • The SMI is a diffusion index, any index value above 50 indicates growth and below 50 indicates contraction.

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© Copyright World Economics Ltd. 2016