GDP numbers indicate turnaround, no change in FY19 forecast: Government

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New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Maintaining the growth forecast for the financial year 2018-19 at 7.5 per cent, the government on Friday said the GDP figures for the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal were in line with expectations and indicated a turnaround in India’s growth story.

India’s GDP for the fourth quarter of FY18 grew at 7.7 per cent as per the official data released earlier in the day.

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra said all sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, construction and agriculture, did well in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal.

“The capital formation is another good story. The growth is 9.8 per cent. There has been improvement in growth rate in manufacturing and construction… Construction especially at 11.5 per cent on the back of negative growth reported in the previous year,” he told the media here.

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“So manufacturing at 9.1 per cent and construction at 11.5 per cent indicate a turnaround in the economy which going forward would also give a big momentum to growth,” he said.

Garg said the GDP growth for the whole year at 6.7 per cent was revised upward from 6.6 per cent in the earlier estimate.

“We have been saying that the fourth quarter will be good which is reflected in the 7.7 per cent. That is one big highlight,” he added.

Asked if the rising oil prices would affect the growth rate in the current financial year, Garg said there was no one to one relation between growth in oil prices and the GDP.

“I don’t think we are revising our estimates or the forecast for the current year which is about 7.5 per cent. We retain it at that level even though there has been some downward revision by Moody’s and others taking oil prices into consideration.

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“But as I had been saying in the past as well, there is no one to one relation between the oil price growth and the GDP growth. There have been various quarters and years when the oil prices have gone up but there has been growth also. So we at this moment feel that we should retain (the growth estimate),” he said.

On Wednesday, Moody’s Investors Service report had cut India’s GDP growth forecast to 7.3 per cent from previous forecast of 7.5 per cent due to higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the constant increasing trend of quarterly GDP numbers in FY18 (at 5.6 per cent, 6.3 per cent, 7 per cent and 7.7 per cent) indicated that the structural reforms undertaken by the government were “now bringing rich dividends”.

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“What is most noticeable is the increase in the growth rate of GVA (Gross Value Added – which includes taxes but excludes subsidies) of manufacturing sector in the last two quarters of 2017-18 at 8.5 per cent and 9.1 per cent at constant price. We would like to believe that GST has given a big boost to the industrial sector,” he tweeted.

Showing signs of fully coming out of the shadows of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST), India’s GDP for the fourth quarter of 2017-18 grew at 7.7 per cent, while for the full financial year 2017-18 it touched 6.7 per cent.

–IANS

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