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GDP Growth Accelerates to 7.7%, India Retains Fastest Growing Economy Tag

A faster pace of growth in manufacturing, at 9.1 percent compared with 6.1 percent a year ago, helped lift overall economic growth, alongside higher investments.

Reuters

Updated:May 31, 2018, 7:11 PM IST
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GDP Growth Accelerates to 7.7%, India Retains Fastest Growing Economy Tag
India surpassed China's growth of 6.8 percent in the January to March quarter. (Picture for Representation)
New Delhi: The economy grew at a rate of 7.7 percent during the period from January to March, topping the pace of the previous quarter for India to retain its position as the fastest growing major economy.

India surpassed China's growth of 6.8 percent in the January to March quarter.

"GDP at 2011-12 prices in the fourth quarter (Q4) of financial year 2017-18 registered growth rate of 7.7 per cent as against 5.6 percent, 6.3 percent and 7 percent respectively, in the first three quarters, Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2017-18," the statement by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said.

For the fiscal year that ended March 31, the ministry reported growth of 6.7 percent, down from 7.1 percent for a year earlier. This is the slowest pace since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in 2014.

The ministry revised the October-December annual pace to 7.0 percent from the provisional 7.2 percent it reported earlier.

A faster pace of growth in manufacturing, at 9.1 percent compared with 6.1 percent a year ago, helped lift overall economic growth, alongside higher investments.

Thursday's data is likely to be a welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set to seek a second term next year.

To help businesses tide over multiple taxation, the government launched a nation-wide goods and services tax but a botched implementation of the GST nearly scuttled India's growth prospects in the near term.

"Seems like we have moved beyond the teething troubles related to GST implementation," said Tushar Arora, a senior economist at HDFC Bank.

"The pick-up in investment activity is also a good sign."

The faster pace of growth in the latest quarter might also strengthen expectations for a rate hike by the Indian central bank when it reviews monetary policy next week.

About 40 percent of economists polled by Reuters expected a rate hike next week, driven by a higher inflation figure of 4.58 percent in April, above the Reserve Bank of India's target of 4 percent for the sixth month in a row.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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