India retains position as fastest growing economy

India retains position as fastest growing economy

India's GDP growth rate of 7.7 percent, recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017-2018, shows that the country's economy was on an uptrend, said president of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Rashesh Shah on Friday.

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said in a tweet that the constant increasing trend of quarterly GDP numbers in the four quarters of 2017-18 indicate that the structural measures of reforms undertaken by government is now bringing rich dividends in the form of higher GDP growth rate. India's GDP grew at the fastest pace in seven quarters at 7.7 per cent in January-March.

As per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), GDP growth in the fourth quarter was 7.7 percent, as against 5.6 percent, 6.3 percent and 7 percent respectively, in the first three quarters, backed by rapid growth in agriculture (4.5 percent), manufacturing (9.1 percent) and construction sectors (11.5 percent).

The growth in the "agriculture, forestry and fishing", "mining & quarrying", "manufacturing", "construction", and "financial, real estate and professional services" is estimated to be 3.4 per cent, 2.9 per cent, 5.7 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 6.6 per cent, respectively, the statement said. For 2017-2018 it projected the economy to grow at 6.7 per cen.

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A barometer of investment, the gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) at current prices is estimated at Rs 47.79 lakh crore in 2017-18 as against Rs 43.52 lakh crore in 2016-17. The union Minister said that it is set for even higher growth in the future. GVA growth for Q4 FY18 also picked up to 7.6%YoY, helped by manufacturing and construction sectors growth. Some headwinds do remain from the perspective of rising crude oil prices, and unwinding of global easy monetary policy & rising interest rates.

GDP growth in 2018-19 could get a boost from prospects of good monsoon, potentially brightening the outlook for agricultural output. With a year to go for the general elections, a pick-up in growth could not have been better timed, from the Centre's point of view. India meets 80 per cent of its oil needs from imports.

Rising oil prices could also weigh on the consumer demand, say economists.

The growth in GVA was widespread led by public administration, which saw growth of 13.3 percent year-on-year. Higher cost of financing is also likely to slow investment and consumption spending across government, households and firms, said Abhishek Gupta, of Bloomberg Economics. The growth makes the highest GDP since demonitisation.

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