The Indian economy recorded a five-quarter high growth of 7.2 per cent in the October-December period on good showing by key sectors like agriculture, construction and manufacturing.
Data for the December quarter, released last night Australian time, showed headline GDP growth rose to 7.2%, up from 6.5% in the previous quarter. The government also marginally increased its estimate for the full year's growth to 6.6% from its earlier estimate of 6.5%. The US based agency stated that the GDP growth has "repeatedly disappointed" in recent quarters, partly because of one-off factors including the demonetisation programme of November 2016 and disruptions related to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2017.
T C Ananth, the CSO said, real GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in 2017-18 is likely to be Rs 130.04 lakh crore, against the first revised estimate for 2016-17 of Rs 121.96 lakh crore which was released on January 31. Construction showed a 6.8 percent growth compared with 2.8 percent growth in preceding and year-ago quarter. For these sectors, the 2 AE is higher than that for the previous year.
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"Construction, government services and agriculture have led the growth in the December quarter".
"We expect a rate hike from RBI, most likely at the August review", said Abhishek Upadhyay, economist, ICICI Securities Prime Dealership, citing inflationary pressures. In manufacturing which is the real key to jobs data, the growth has come down to 5.1 per cent this year compared with 7.9 per cent in the previous year.
In an interview with the news network earlier this week, Amitabh Kant, one of the Indian government's top policy advisers, said growth of 10% or more should be "very doable".
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"A 12 per cent growth in fixed capital formation pulled up GDP growth, but it needs to be nurtured", said DK Pant, Chief Economist, India Ratings. Attempts towards deposit mobilisation would be required to sustain a pick-up in credit growth. Another labor-intensive sector like mining and manufacturing is estimated to grow at a rate of 3% and 5.1% respectively. If the trend continues, the contribution of "net exports" to the overall GDP may drop in the coming quarters.
"There are concerns of a rising fiscal deficit and the possibility of interest rates rising further", Gandhi said.
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