Indian economy expands 7.7 pc in Q4, 6.7 pc in FY18

Moody's lowers India's growth forecast in 2018

NEW DELHI, May 31 (Reuters) - The Indian economy grew 7.7 percent year-on-year in January-March, its quickest pace in almost two years driven by higher growth in manufacturing, the farm sector and construction. However, we expect tighter financing conditions, rising oil prices and slower investments in the run-up to elections to slow GDP growth later in the year.

The GDP growth data released yesterday presents an optimistic picture of the economy, reflected in y-o-y growth for Q4, especially for construction and manufacturing sectors, Ficci President Rashesh Shah said.

Last year, it reported 6.1 percent growth in GDP for the fourth quarter of 2016-17. The GDP growth was 6.1 per cent in January-March 2016-17.

The decline in the annual GDP growth has been mainly due to dip in manufacturing, agriculture and mining activities.

"Worrying trend is lowest core GVA (gross value added) growth (GVA excluding agriculture and public administration, defense and other services), it grew only 6.5 per cent in FY18 (previous low: 6.6 per cent in 2013-14)". Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its growth projection for the year ending March 2019 to 7.6 percent from 8 percent, amid concerns that the banking system's woes are more widespread.

To help businesses tide over multiple taxation, his government launched a nation-wide goods and services tax but a botched implementation of the GST almost scuttled the country's growth prospects in the near term. Similarly, financial, real estate and professional services GVA grew at a higher rate of 5 per cent in the quarter as compared to 1 per cent a year ago.

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The rate is higher against 5.6 percent, 6.3 percent and 7.0 percent respectively, in the first three quarters, Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2017-18.

The industry body has emphasised the need to sustain the growth momentum, while suggest the policy makers to take steps to revive private investments following the recent push to accelerate infrastructure spending as well as to improve the business climate and (eventually) less leveraged corporate and banks' balance sheets.

At constant (2011-12) prices, the GFCF is estimated at Rs 40.88 lakh crore in 2017-18 as against Rs 37.98 lakh crore in 2016-17.

The rebound in growth reinforces that the economy is back on track and is set for a strong recovery after the period of disruptions sparked by demonetisation and GST implementation, industry body CII said in a statement.

Replying to a query, the Secretary said, oil pricing policy needs to be looked at if prices are elevated.

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