via Economics Times: India’s economy grew at an impressive 8.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018-19 financial year ending June 30 on the back of a strong core performance and a healthy base .
This jump ahead of national elections next year would help bolster the government amid a debate over its economic record versus that of its predecessor following the release of back-series data recently. This will also be factored in by the monetary policy committee at its next review scheduled for October 3-5.
The Indian government changed the base year for GDP calculation from 2004-05 to 2011-12, by changing the goods and services in the basket to make it more current, in 2015.
This is the highest growth in two years and strongest since the first quarter of 2016.
Sectors which registerd growth of over 7 per cent include ‘manufacturing, ‘electricity, gas, water supply & other utility services’ ‘construction’ and ‘public administration, defence and other services’.
The growth in the ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’, ‘mining and quarrying’, ‘Trade, hotels, transport, ..
GDP at current prices in Q1 of 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 44.33 lakh crore, as against Rs 38.97 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18, showing a growth rate of 13.8 percent.
The official figures are much better than the expectations of economists who have predicted about 7.5-7.6 per cent Q1 growth.
The world’s second largest economy, China, reported a 6.7 per cent growth for June quarter compared with 6.8 per cent in March quarter. India’s $2.6 trillion economy surpassed France’s in 2017 to be the world’s sixth largest, and it was not far before the United Kingdom, according to World Bank data.
However despite the strong Q1 numbers, there is apprehension about the economy slowing down in the coming times.
Sameer Narang, chief economist at Bank of Baroda, told Reuters that the economic growth could cool to about 7.2 percent in October-March.
The Reserve Bank of India has raised its benchmark repo rate by a total of 50 basis points at its past two meetings, to 6.5 percent, to tame inflation that has remained above its medium-term target of 4 percent for the last nine months.
In July, retail inflation eased to 4.17 percent from a year earlier, but is projected to remain around 4.8 percent in the second half of the fiscal year.
The rupee has weakened nearly 10 percent against the dollar this year, touching a record low of 71 to the dollar today, and is the worst performing currency in Asia.
Credit ratings agency Moody’s has warned about rising pressure of higher oil prices and interest rates on government finances and India’s current account.
Earlier today, government data showed a fiscal deficit of Rs 5.40 lakh crore for April-July, or 86.5 percent of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year compared with 92.4 percent a year earlier.