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gdp: Q4 GDP at 7.7%, growth rate highest since demonetisation

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NEW DELHI: India retained its status of the fastest growing major economy as the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the fourth quarter (January- March) of FY 2018 came in at 7.7 per cent, topping China’s 6.8 per cent.

For the full fiscal year 2017-18, the growth rate came at 6.7 per cent.

In the last quarter (October- December) the GDP growth rate stood at 7.2 per cent.

Government data released on Thursday evening showed that GDP grew at the highest rate since second quarter (July- September) of the fiscal year 2016-17, the quarter before the government outlawed old currency notes valued at Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.

The growth rate, in fact, managed to beat Street expectations. A Reuters poll of economists predicted a 7.3 per cent growth.

The economy which got scuttled to an extent in the last 18 months courtesy the twin blow of demonetisation and the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) seems to have got its steam back with the growth rate topping the 7 per cent mark in the last two quarters.

However, rising bad loans in the banking system is a major concern for the government. The 21 state-run banks which hold two-thirds of banking assets accounted for the bulk of the record Rs 9.75 lakh crore of soured loans in the banking sector in 2017.

Analysts predict growth is likely to get a boost from monsoon rains, which hit the southern state of Kerala a few days earlier than normal, potentially brightening the outlook for agricultural output.

(With agency inputs)

Updated: May 31, 2018 — 11:32 am

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