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NEW DELHI: India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate for the second quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal stood at 6.3 per cent, government data showed on Thursday. The latest figures brings forth reasons for cheer as GDP had been sliding for the last five quarters, culminating in a 5.7 per cent growth rate for the April-June quarter, a three-year low.
The GVA (Gross Value Added) to the economy stands at 6.1 per cent up from 5.6 per cent in the last quarter.
The bounce back in economy was widely expected as there were clear signs of the businesses coming out of the slowdown caused by demonetisation and the roll out of GST. A Reuters poll of economists had predicted a growth rate of 6.4 per cent, while various other bodies projected the rate between 5.9 per cent and 7.1 per cent.
After the figures were declared, Tushar Arora, senior economist of HDFC Bank said, ” The GDP number is exactly in line with our expectations. Upbeat corporate earnings results have been reflected in the manufacturing sector.As the revival continues, we are likely to keep the annual (GDP) forecast unchanged at 6.5 per cent.”
Urjit Patel, governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had also said last month that signs of an upturn were visible and growth was likely to top 7 per cent.
Other indicators like passenger vehicle and tractor sales, industrial production, electricity generation and rail cargo have all accelerated in the past few months. Big companies have also largely adjusted to the changes while benefiting from reduced logistics costs. Prominent Indian firms had their best profit growth in last six quarters in July-September, according to Thomson Reuters data. According to the data, Indian companies’ total profits are expected to grow 25% in the next fiscal year, which would be the highest in Asia.
However, concerns still remain on the consumption and private investment front which have failed to pick up despite the economy staging a comeback of sorts. Also, the finance ministry has been unsuccessful in convincing RBI for a cut in key policy rates. Analysts on the contrary say that rising global oil prices could pinch consumers through higher inflation and may instead force the RBI to hike the rates in the second half of 2018, denting growth momentum.
(With inputs from Reuters)