India’s growth likely topped 7% again in January-March quarter

Posted June 03, 2018

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said on Monday it was expected that annual growth was between 7.3 and 7.5 percent in the March quarter.

"GDP at 2011-12 prices in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 registered a growth rate of 7.7 per cent as against 5.6 per cent, 6.3 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, in the first three quarters of 2017-18". The country's economic growth was marginally higher at 6.9 per cent in 2016. The country, which is classified as "lower-middle income economy" with a GNI per capita of $1,455 in 2017 by the World Bank, is expected to clock a 6.7 per cent GDP growth in 2018. GVA (ex-agriculture and government services) eased to 7.2% from 7.4%, reflecting softness in some of the private services (trade and financial services).

Sampath Reddy, CIO, Bajaj Allianz Life said GDP growth Q4 FY18 came in above expectations at 7.7%, on the back of gross fixed capital formation (or investments). The sharp uptick in the construction GVA growth in Q4 FY2018 benefited from the trend in its inputs, such as cement and steel consumption, and activity in the infrastructure sector (including affordable housing), even as real estate and industrial capex is yet to pick up and consumer sentiment is yet to recover appreciably.

India's quarterly growth slowed to as low as 5.7 percent in spring past year as the economy reeled from the cash ban and readied itself for GST, which aimed to create a single market in India. "The GDP numbers for 2017-18 marginally overshoots the advance estimates of GDP released earlier this year".

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Asked about recent GDP growth downgrading by Moody's from 7.5 per cent to 7.3 per cent, he said the government would not revise GDP estimate of FY19, which is at 7.5 per cent.

Mining and quarrying did not perform well in January-March as GVA of the segment grew at 2.7 per cent, down from 18.8 per cent in the year-ago period.

"Accordingly, we expect the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to raise its policy repo rate by 50bps in 2018 with the first hike of 25bps at their meeting next week", added ANZ.

He said he did not see any correlation between oil prices and GDP growth and the fiscal deficit would remain as per the targets.

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DOWNSIDE RISKS: The recovery could be threatened by higher global crude oil prices, which this month hit $80 a barrel, their highest since 2014.

Analysts said the healthy Q4 figures showed that the economy had recovered from a slump, which followed a shock decision to scrap 86 percent of currency notes in late 2016 and the introduction of a new nationwide tax previous year.

He said the Barisan Nasional government had conducted years of studies and found that the HSR would contribute RM209 billion (S$70.31 billion) to the Gross Domestic Product, compared to its cost of RM70 billion.

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