India Inc is expected to witness an average eight per cent salary increase this year and as much as 50 per cent of companies have strong hiring plans for the next three months, a survey by global HR consultancy Mercer says.

The Mercer India Monitor quarterly survey also shows an optimistic sentiment for 2010, with salaries expected to rise by as much as 10.9 per cent next year.

“Despite the fact that past year saw slowest growth in a long time, the economy is expected to grow at over six per cent and industry is estimated to see overall average salary hikes at 8 per cent for 2009,” Mercer’s information product solutions business India leader Gangapriya Chakraverti said.

“Overall forecast for 2010 is at 10.9 per cent compared to eight per cent this year. Most sectors are forecasting double digit increases for next year,” Chakraverti added.

Moreover, most companies have presented a more optimistic picture on workforce and compensation with 50 per cent of respondents hiring in the next three months either to add headcount or to replace for attrition so far, the survey said.

In terms of sectors, the IT space, which had a ‘long lasting’ lull of nearly zero per cent salary increase this year, is showing improved sentiments.

The survey revealed that the IT sector is expected to see salary increases by a few percentage points next year.

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