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India salary hikes seen highest in Asia-Pacific - survey

Engineers attend to calls from abroad inside a call center in Gurgaon in this December 2003 file photo. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Wages in India will rise the fastest in the Asia-Pacific region, going up by a tenth in 2010, a recent survey suggested, another indication local firms are more confident of growth than their regional peers.

A strong rebound in Asia’s third largest economy, supported by a focus on building infrastructure and consumer demand, has had firms lining up plans to ride the wave of growth.

This contrasts with last year, when many firms had frozen or cut salaries as demand fell and the economy’s expansion slowed to a six-year low.

On an average, salaries went up 6.6 percent in 2009, the survey by staffing services firm Hewitt Associates said.

“This growth and the fact that 2009 saw a lot of salary freeze and salary cuts, are providing an impetus for healthy increase in compensation for employees,” according to the survey released Thursday.

The survey of 465 companies across 20 industries said the heftiest hikes would be in engineering and construction firms which would benefit from India’s projected $38 billion spend on infrastructure in the year to March 2011.

IT and software firms are ready with more generous raises than a year ago, but increases in salaries across this sector would be the least, Hewitt said.

India is seen growing at least 7.2 percent in the year to March-end, accelerating to around 8.5 percent the following year.

(Reporting by Vipul Tripathi)

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