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India GDP records 9.4% Growth for the last Fiscal

During the final quarter of 2006-07, India's real gross domestic product (GDP) decelerated to 9.1% from 10% during the same quarter of the preceding fiscal, according to the latest data released by the Central Statistical Organisation.

But the growth rate is still robust and more importantly, it is the manufacturing sector that is calling the shots. For the year as a whole, the economy expanded at the rate of 9.4%, compared with 9% in 2005-06. This rate is also higher than the growth of 9.2%, anticipated in the advance estimates released by the CSO.

With the growth juggernaut maintaining a strong momentum, the per capita income is also sharply up 14.3% to Rs 29,382 last year. This is on top of a spurt of 12.1% in 2005-06. Even adjusted for inflation, the trend in per capita national income is gratifying. It rose by 7.4% and 8.4% during the last two years (at 1999-00 prices).

According to CSO, the modest slide in GDP growth rate in the final quarter of 2006-07 vis-à-vis the year ago period was on account of a poor showing in agriculture - the growth rate here had slackened to 3.8% from 6.2% - and in construction to 11.2% from 16.1%. Assorted financial services and business, community and social services also witnessed a slowdown of sorts. But this was partially offset by a commendable show by manufacturing, which jumped to 12.4% from 9.4%, helped by an improved performance from mining and quarrying, electricity and trade, hotels etc.

However, these estimates are very tentative and are subject to revision in the light of more data pertaining to the last quarter of 2006-07 becoming available in the due course. Therefore, it should be taken as indicative rather being definitive. For example, many figures for the previous quarters have been modified in the latest data released by the agency.

The GDP growth for the first quarter of the last fiscal has been reworked to 9.6% from the earlier 8.9%, for the second quarter to 10.2% from 9.2% and for the third quarter to 8.7% from 8.6%. In the case of manufacturing, the revision has been substantial - to 12.3% from 11.3% in the first quarter, to 12.7% from 11.9% in the second quarter and to 11.8% from 10.7% in the third quarter.

India seems to be entering a phase of manufacturing -led GDP growth. In 2005-06, GDP rose by 9% while manufacturing rose by 9.1%. In the advance estimate for 2006-07, the rise in real GDP was envisaged at 9.2% of which manufacturing was projected to increase its GDP by 11.3%. But revised estimates, now available, indicate that the performance has been more flattering than earlier indicated; a 9.4% surge in GDP propelled by manufacturing. During the first three years of the new millennium, India had fared poorly with GDP growth ranging between 3.8% to 5.8%.





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