Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

India's Q4 GDP grows at 7.7%, touches 6.7% for entire 2017-18

India's Q4 GDP grows at 7.7%, touches 6.7% for entire 2017-18

The Centre reported Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of FY 2017-18 (at 2011-12 prices).

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, official data showed here on Thursday.

"These corroborate with FICCI's surveys that reveal an improving outlook on investments".

"Apart from high oil prices, another factor that could potentially add downside risk this year is a possible moderation in global trade growth amid continuing tensions".

India is rebounding from an economic slowdown, with growth seen at more than 7 percent, only to find itself ensnared by the volatility engulfing emerging markets.

Soaring crude prices are likely to exert pressure on the government to cut excise duties on oil, which will reduce public expenditure.

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The 9.0% growth of capital goods and the expansion in the GoI's capital spending in January-February 2018 are likely to have contributed to the healthy expansion of gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) in the just-concluded quarter. "We can expect the GDP figures to stay above 7 percent for the next few quarters", Ashutosh Datar, senior economist at Mumbai-based IIFL, told AFP. The previous low was recorded in 2013-14 at 6.4 per cent.

Mining and quarrying did not perform well in January-March as GVA of the segment grew at 2.7 per cent, down from 18.8 per cent in the year-ago period.

Asked about recent GDP growth downgrading by Moody's from 7.5 per cent to 7.3 per cent, he said the government would not revise GDP estimate of FY19, which is at 7.5 per cent.

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said in a tweet that the constant increasing trend of quarterly GDP numbers in the four quarters of 2017-18 indicate that the structural measures of reforms undertaken by government is now bringing rich dividends in the form of higher GDP growth rate. The country's economic growth was marginally higher at 6.9 per cent in 2016.

Economists are predicting a further pick-up in activity during the current financial year on the back of higher consumption demand, a stable GST and a surge in investment towards end of the year.

"Global oil prices will affect inflation and thereby challenge the central bank to hike interest rates", said Datar, referring to next month's monetary policy meeting of the Reserve Bank of India. India meets 80 percent of its oil needs from imports.

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