Saturday, 18 August, 2018

India retains position as fastest growing economy

“On the domestic front growth should benefit from an acceleration in rural consumption supported by higher minimum support prices and a normal monsoon” Moody’s said India clocks 7.7 per cent GDP growth for Q4FY18
Ebony Burgess | 04 June, 2018, 11:12

The GDP growth during the third quarter of the fiscal was at 7 per cent.

The India GDP growth forecast of 7.5 per cent for 2019-20 is more than a percentage point higher than the 6.4 per cent growth forecast of China.

"Rapid growth in agriculture (4.5%), manufacturing (9.1%) and construction sectors (11.5%) contributed to the overall growth", the Indian government said. That's a big jump from the revised 7% growth rate recorded the previous quarter. For the full financial year, however, the growth rate of 6.7 per cent is a four-year low.

India also reported 4.7 percent growth in annual infrastructure output in April, signalling a recovery after it slipped to a three-year low of 4.2 percent in 2017/18. The pickup in growth surely offers a boost to prime minister Narandra Modi, who will be seeking a second term next year.

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra said all sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, construction and agriculture, did well in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal. Moreover, the improvement in the construction GVA growth in Q4 FY2018 benefitted from the base effect, given the issues related to demonetisation, including the availability of labour, Nayar said.

Moving on, interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, said, "GDP has been increasing continuously every quarter with 7.7% Q4 GDP".

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Mining and quarrying did not perform well in January-March as GVA of the segment grew at 2.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, down from 18.8 per cent in the year-ago period. "So we at this moment feel that we should retain (the growth estimate)", he said.

Economists are predicting a further pick-up in activity during the current financial year on the back of higher consumption demand, a stable GST and a surge in investment towards end of the year.

Forecasts ranged from 6.9 to 7.7 percent. However, the ability of the public sector banks to support lending growth, the risk of monetary tightening and trade wars, and the impact of higher crude oil prices on purchasing power of consumers and corporate earnings have emerged as risks.

As per the report, India's current account deficit will increase.

Though March quarter figures suggest that the economy is rebounding, doubts remain over whether it can sustain the pace amid surging oil prices and a fast depreciating rupee.

"A sustained rise in oil prices to $100 a barrel could even lead to a re-emergence of some of the external and currency risks that existed pre-2014", said Priyanka Kishore, head of India and South East Asia economics at Oxford Economics Ltd.

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