India's economic growth surges to 8.2%

The big news GDP growth rises to 8.2% for first quarter of 2018-’19 and 9 other top stories

The big news GDP growth rises to 8.2% for first quarter of 2018-’19 and 9 other top stories

Central Statistics Office figures showed GDP growth for April to June in Asia's third-biggest economy improved from 7.7 percent in the previous quarter.

As India's GDP growth accelerated to 8.2 per cent during the period from April to June of 2018-19, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg hoped that Indian economy has completed its recovery process and will exceed 7.5 per cent growth rate in fiscal 2018-19.

Although the GDP growth is welcome, some analysts doubt the economy will accelerate further.

Last year, services GDP had grown at a robust pace due to higher growth of trade sub-segment and professional services because of destocking ahead of GST implementation in July17, and this has now moderated. "Elevated oil prices and escalating global trade tensions dampen the outlook going forward".

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said he is happy that the growth rate has quickened but it is based on the lowest base year growth of 5.6 per cent in the last eight quarters. Private final consumption expenditure jumped 8.6 per cent in Q1 FY19 compared with 6.9 per cent in Q1 FY18.

To be sure, there is an element of base effect in the latest growth figures.

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The economic activities which registered growth of over 7 percent in first quarter of 2018-19 over the same period of 2017-18 were manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services, construction and public administration, defence and other services.

Friday's 8.2 percent figure was above the median estimate of a survey of economists by Bloomberg, which had predicted of 7.6 percent.

"Given that we don't see a runway concern on inflation even after accounting for the rupee depreciation, we don't expect the Reserve Bank of India to raise rates now".

"Apart from this, we strongly maintain that the agriculture sector needs an immediate intervention like Bhavantar scheme (a price deficit financing scheme whereby the State pays the farmer the difference between the average commodity price at mandis and the MSP) recently launched", said Ghosh. Merchandise import growth has slowed because of gold imports, while export growth has also weakened. Earlier this month, China had reported a 6.7 per cent growth for June quarter compared with 6.8 per cent in March quarter. Agricultural, forestry and fishing sector recorded growth of 5.3 per cent, up from 3.0 per cent, mainly due to more than a 15 per cent increase in production of rice, coarse cereals and pulses during rabi reason.

"GDP at current prices in Q1 of 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 44.33 lakh crore, as against Rs 38.97 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18, showing a growth rate of 13.8 percent".

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