Indian economy growth estimated to stand at 6.5 percent in 2017-18


The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will be releasing the first advance estimates of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 2017-18 at around 5.30 pm today.

The growth in GDP during 2017-18 is estimated at 6.5 percent as compared to the growth rate of 7.1 per cent in 2016-17, the CSO said. Per capita income to fall too India's per capita income, a gauge for measuring living standard, is likely to witness a slower growth of 8.3 per cent at Rs 1,11,782 in FY 2017-18.

With the government struggling to meet the fiscal deficit, the upcoming budget is unlikely to announce mega public spending plans to boost economic growth.

"In agriculture, what we are seeing is a base effect because last year saw a very high growth rate because it followed two years of drought", Statistics and Programme Implementation Secretary and Chief Statistician of India TCA Anant said at a press conference in the national capital.

Earlier, the country's GDP growth for the second quarter of the current fiscal ended September 30 was 6.3 percent - up from 5.7 percent reported during the first quarter of 2017-18.

CSO estimates suggest that in the current fiscal, the (Gross Value Added) growth in agriculture, forestry and fishing sector is set to decline to 2.1% as against the previous year's growth rate of 4.9%.

The lower growth will raise pressure on finance minister Arun Jaitley ahead of the February 1 budget to take steps to strengthen recovery even as he allocates more funds for key stakeholders ahead of elections next year.

Worldwide rating agency Standard and Poor's had kept the growth outlook for India "stable" and rated the world's third-largest economy 'BBB-' in its latest report in November.

The advance estimates have, however, been compiled on the basis of actual data of the last seven months (April-October) in the fiscal 2017-18 and extrapolated for the next five months (November-March) on the basis of that. Before this, the slowest expansion in GDP was in 2013-14 when it grew by 6.4 per cent.

Analysts will also keenly examine the data used for calculating the advance GDP estimates. Therefore, they are not fully factoring in the expected pickup in growth in the later months of FY2018, related to a favourable base effect and a "catch up" following the subdued growth momentum in H1 FY2018. "And as the estimates are missing the RBI expectations, the central bank is likely to pause in its next policy meeting in February 2018".

Debroy said that several indicators had already shown signs of improvement, "whether it is the PMI (Purchasing Managersa¿ Index), the high growth in eight core-sector industries or data on vehicle sales".


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